Policemen in Indonesia's eastern province of Papua on Monday apologized for using a live snake to interrogate a suspect in a bid to force a confession. The suspect was caught during a crackdown for a petty crime in Jayawijaya district recently.

A video of the incident, which went viral on Twitter, shows the suspect sitting on the floor of a jail cell handcuffed with a giant snake wrapped around his neck. A policeman then shouts at the thief and asks him how many times he had stolen mobile phones. He then tries to shove the snake into the man’s mouth. The other officers can be heard laughing.

After the video went viral, human rights lawyer Veronica Koman condemned the use of live snake and said it breached several police policies. She also added that this was not the first time a live snake was used to terrorize detainees. In January, Sam Lokon, a member of the West Papua National Committee, was put in jail with a snake.

Post the backlash, Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said, “An officer is now being questioned by Papua police internal affairs division. We apologize for the incident. 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.”

Tonny Ananda Swadaya, the police chief in Jayawijaya district, too apologized but stated that the suspect was in no danger and the snake was non-poisonous. He, however, did not say which type of snake was used.

“The snake was tame and not poisonous or dangerous, and the incident was their own idea so they could get admission of guilt as quick as possible. We will work more professionally in the future,” Swadaya said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

snake In the representational image, a python lays on the bed at Bali Heritage Reflexology and Spa rooms in Jakarta, Indonesia, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images