Tag Archives: military tribunal

Soldier arrested as seven Papuan fisherman shot by the TNI

Bintang Papua,
28 December 2012
Seven Papuan fisherman were shot by members of the TNI (Indonesian army) near Pulau Papan district, Misol Perairan Raja Apat, West Papua. It is not clear why they were shot, but one TNI soldier is now being questioned by POM, the military police in Puncak Rafidin.The commander of 1704/Sorong, Lieut-Col. Rachman Zulkarnain refused to make any comment about the incident but he did not deny that a TNI solider was being interrogated by the military police. They were still trying to find out more about those responsible for the shooting. ‘I want the process to continue , until we can decide who should be charged for the incident,’ said Zulkarnain.

A spokesman for  the Cenderawasih XVII military command  also said that a member of the army is being interrogated intensively by POM.  The matter must be handled through legal channels, he said. He said that the commander would ensure that the person responsible would be firmly dealt with.

The spokesman also said that  the person who did the shooting was thought to be a member of Babinsa Koramil (low level military command personnel ) and one of those responsible has been identified as Praka BJ.

Head of public relations of the military command, I Gede Sumerta Jaja told the press that the case was still being investigated, while attention was at present concentrated on finding one of the victims.

One of the victims is at present being treated at Sorong Hospital  but he is not yet fit enough to be asked to make a statement. ‘We must respect his rights and not try to force him to make a statement,’ he said.

The bodies of four of the victims were discovered in a state of decomposition on Wednesday, La Nuni, 55, La Jaka, 30, La Edi, 20 and La Diri, 20. A fifth victim , La Ful, 13 is still being sought by a TNI/Police unit. The bodies were under water for almost a week but officials were able to identify them when they were  found.

Two other fisherman have also been found alive and are now being treated in hospital.

A representative of the military police met the families of the victims  and members of South Sulawesi  Families Association to continue with the process of identifying all the victims to finalise the process of identification and then moving them away from the area. The Association has called on the military command to make a statement, following information that indicated that the military and police were responsible for the shooting but the military have as yet failed to clarify the case. A spokesman of the Association said that they were still trying find other victims of the shooting.

Translated by TAPOL

Verdict on violence in Papua unjust, says Kontras

Verdict on violence in Papua unjust, says Kontras
Bintang Papua, 3 February 2011
[Translated in full by TAPOL]
Jayapura: Although the three members of the armed forces who were sentenced  for acts of violence against civilians have accepted the verdict and are now serving their sentences in a military prison, some sources believe that the verdict is far from just.
The chairman of KontraS Papua, Johanis Maturbongs SH, is of the opinion that the sentence passed against the three soldiers at the military tribunal is far from just. The sentences of ten months for Sergeant Riski Irwanto, nine months for Private Yapson Agu  and eight months for Private Thamrin Mahangiri were far too lenient. This punishment cannot be compared to the trauma suffered by the victims of their acts of violence.
Cases of this nature should be tried before a civil court or a human rights court as stipulated in the Special Autonomy Law.
‘If such a case of human rights violations is heard before a military tribunal, the result is bound to be far from adequate.,’ said Maturbongs, a law graduate from Cenderawasih University. He said that things like this have been happening for a long time, and with violations that are even worse than this one, but nothing is known about what has happened.
He also said that the  National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) in Papua should be far more active so as to ensure that such cases are read about in the public domain.
‘Our friends in Komnas HAM in Papua have not been working to full capacity. They need to work far harder with regard to human rights violations which occur in Papua,’ he said.
The same also applies to the legislature, which should do everything in its power to ensure that a human rights court is set up in  Papua.”

 

Amnesty Urges Torture Charges On Indonesia Soldiers

Amnesty Urges Torture Charges On Indonesia Soldiers

Jan 14 (AFP) — Indonesian soldiers on trial for the alleged brutal
abuse of two Papuans should be charged with torture rather than the
minor offence of disobeying orders, Amnesty International said
Saturday.

The three soldiers appeared Thursday before a military tribunal, after
the online broadcast of a video showing the torture of unarmed men
sparked an outcry.

But they were charged with disobedience to orders rather than more
serious crimes such as illegal detention and abuse.

In the video, posted on YouTube last year, soldiers place a burning
stick to the genitals of an unarmed man and threaten another with a
knife as part of an interrogation about the location of weapons.

“Amnesty International urges the Indonesian authorities to ensure that
the three soldiers… (are) tried in full criminal procedures for
torture or similar crimes,” Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Director
Donna Guest said.

Military prosecutors have said they lacked evidence of torture because
the victims would not testify, despite the existence of a CD of the
video and detailed statements given by the victims to human rights
groups.

According to the National Human Rights Commission, the victims would
like to testify but were terrified of military reprisals, and had not
received adequate safety guarantees.

“Amnesty International believes that the civilian courts are much more
likely to ensure both prosecution for the crimes involving human
rights violations and protection for witnesses than the military
system,” Guest said in a statement received by AFP.

Indonesia had pledged to rein in military abuses in regions such as
Papua and the Maluku islands in return for renewed US military
exchanges. The soldiers face a maximum sentence of two and half years
in jail.

AP: 3 Indonesian Soldiers Seen In Video Torturing 2 Papuan Men On Trial Just For Disobeying Orders

Media Info only
3 Indonesian Soldiers Seen In Video Torturing 2 Papuan Men On Trial
Just For Disobeying Orders

By IRWAN FIRDAUS
Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Jan 14 (AP) – Three Indonesian soldiers accused of
torturing two men from the restive eastern region of Papua have gone
on trial for the relatively minor charges of disobeying orders,
prosecutors said Friday.

A video circulated widely on the Internet late last year showed
security forces burning the genitals of one suspected separatist and
running a knife across the neck of another, sparking an international
outcry.

In a rare acknowledgment of military abuses, the Indonesian government
issued a statement soon after, promising justice would be served.

But in a military tribunal that started Thursday in the Papuan capital
of Jayapura, the three soldiers captured on video were slapped with
the relatively minor charge of disobeying orders, which carries a
maximum penalty of 30 months in prison.

Prosecutors said the men escaped more serious charges because — aside
from the video — there was no physical evidence of wrongdoing and the
two Papuan victims refused to submit statements to the court.

Human rights activists called the tribunal a sham, while the United
States urged the Indonesian government to honor its commitment to
investigate and prosecute abuses by its troops.

Haris Azhar, chairman of the Jakarta-based Commission for Missing
Persons and Victims of Violence, said it showed that allegations of
military abuse were once again being whitewashed.

“How is this fair?” he asked. “As far as we can tell, there wasn’t
even an investigation.”

“This process will serve no justice at all for the victims,” Azhar
said, adding that the victims were afraid to testify because there was
no guarantee they would be protected.

The tribunal was adjourned Thursday until next week.

Indonesia, a nation of more than 237 million people, has made
tremendous strides toward democracy since former dictator Suharto was
ousted just over a decade ago, but it remains highly sensitive to
ongoing separatist struggles in Papua and the Molucca islands.

Security forces are accused of abusing both civilians and suspected
“freedom fighters.”

The United States, which last year lifted a decade-old ban on military
assistance to a notoriously violent Indonesian commando unit, promised
Thursday to closely monitor the trials.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said it would hold
Indonesia to its commitments to investigate rights abuses and take
legal action.

Indonesia took over Papua from the Dutch in 1963 and formalized its
sovereignty six years later through a stage-managed vote by about
1,000 community leaders.

Human rights groups say more than 100,000 people — a fifth of the
impoverished province’s population — have died as result of military
action.