In the many ways a confession can be forced out of a suspect, wrapping a snake around a man’s neck and thrusting it in his face is among the most surreal.
But now it’s caught on video.
Police in Indonesia used the slithery technique on a suspect in in Papua, trying to get him to fess up about stolen cell phones.
The man has his hands tied behind is back and is screaming at times as the snake is pushed near his face.
“How may times have you stolen mobile phones?” the officer asks.
“Only two times,” is the response from the suspect.
A voice is heard during the interrogation ordering the man to open his eyes, and at one point, threatening to put the serpent into his mouth and inside his pants.
“The investigator was not professional in doing his job,” Jayawijaya Police Chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya said in an apologetic statement.
“We have taken stern action against the personnel.”
The chief indicated the snake was tame and not poisonous, and that officers did not physically attack the suspect.
Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal told Reuters the case was being investigated by internal affairs, and disciplinary action would be taken if rules had been violated.
Human-rights abuses are reportedly common in Papua, a former Dutch colony that was incorporated into Indonesia after a U.N.-backed referendum in 1969.
Veronica Koman, a human-rights lawyer focused on Papua, told Reuters the use of a snake in this manner was tantamount to torture and was not an isolated incident.
She said a snake was also used to interrogate one of her own clients, a pro-independence activist.
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