Snake used during Indonesia police interrogation, video shows

The police involved have apologised for using a live snake as part of interrogation methods to deal with petty crime

The police involved have apologised for using a live snake as part of interrogation methods to deal with petty crime

The officer is heard ordering the man to open his eyes and at one point even threatens to shove the snake into his mouth and under his pants.

Video of the incident that circulated online over the weekend shows a man with a snake draped around his neck as officers taunt him, ordering him to admit to the theft or face having the reptile put in his mouth or his trousers.

"How many times have you stolen a mobile phone?" he yells at the unidentified suspected thief.

The video showed the suspect in handcuffs, with a snake wrapped around his neck and waist.

The suspect later responds by saying, "Only two times".

Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer who tweeted the video, has claimed officers placed a snake on a pro-Papua independence activist in a prison cell, as they asked him questions, BBC reported Monday.

He also defended the use of the snake, and said the animal was "tame and non-venomous", according to the BBC.

Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said the case was being investigated by the internal affairs unit and if violations of the law or code of conduct were proven action would be taken.

"We apologise for the incident", Kamal told The Associated Press. "Institutionally we do not recognize such an unprofessional method of interrogation, and we guarantee that such an inhuman method will not happen again in the future".

"When this snake video surfaced, many Papuans, particularly activists, who have been in and out of jail for political reasons, said that they have long known that snakes are being used by police and military", she said.

Sam Lokon was arrested last month in Papua's Jayawijaya regency during a crackdown on petty crime.

A separatist movement has simmered in the region for decades.

The former Dutch colony, the resource-rich western part New Guinea island, was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticized UN-backed referendum in 1969. Such efforts have intensified after rebel militants killed 19 people working on the construction of a trans-Papua highway project in December 2018.

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