A Polish man, Jakub Skrzypski, who is being held in a Jayawijaya prison while on trial for treason said earlier this week he'd been assaulted by police officers visiting the prison as guards looked on.
Throughout the interrogation, officers can be heard asking: "How many times have you stolen mobile phones!?"
A voice off-camera can be heard ordering the man to keep his eyes open as the snake is pushed towards him.More news: Kamala Harris: I’ve Smoked Weed and ‘I Did Inhale’
In a statement, Jayawijaya police chief Tonny Ananda Swadaya issued an apology, saying, "The investigator was not professional in doing his job".
'We have taken stern action against the personnel, ' he said, adding the officers themselves had not physically attacked the man.
"The snake was tame and not poisonous or unsafe and the incident was their own idea so they could get admission of guilt as quick as possible", Swadaya said in a statement.More news: President Trump Preps for El Paso Rally
"An officer is now being questioned by Papua police internal affairs division", Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal told AFP Monday. He vowed that any violations of the law or code of conduct uncovered would be punished.
She said it was only the latest of several reports of police and military using snakes to terrorise Papuan detainees and symptomatic of a culture of racism against indigenous Papuans. "Institutionally we do not recognise such an unprofessional method of interrogation, and we guarantee that such an inhuman method will not happen again in the future".
Papuan separatists have fought since the 60s for independence following annexation of the resource-rich border areas of the country by Indonesia in 1969. However, separatist sentiments have been present ever since.More news: Death toll rises to 17 in residential building collapse in Istanbul
Indonesian security forces have been repeatedly accused of using excessive force and committing rights abuses against Papua's ethnic Melanesian population including extrajudicial killings of activists and peaceful protestors. Such efforts have intensified after rebel militants killed 19 people working on the construction of a trans-Papua highway project in December 2018.