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
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
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
- AP: 3 Indonesian Soldiers Seen In Video Torturing 2 Papuan Men On Trial Just For Disobeying Orders (westpapuamedia.info)
- SMH: Soldiers Stand Trial Over Papua Abuse (westpapuamedia.info)
- US Gov: State Dept spokesperson on TNI (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesia under fire over ‘farcical’ abuse trial (thehimalayantimes.com)