WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday
slammed as too lenient an Indonesian court martial for jailing three
soldiers for up to 10 months for abuse and insubordination after
they were shown torturing civilians.
The sentences “do not reflect the seriousness of the abuses of
two Papuan men depicted in 2010 video,” State Department
spokesman Philip Crowley said on the microblogging website
“Indonesia must hold its armed forces accountable for violations
of human rights. We are concerned and will continue to follow
this case,” Crowley added.
The relatively light sentences prompted anger among campaigners,
who accuse the Indonesian military of acting with impunity
against the indigenous Melanesian majority in the far-eastern
province of Papua.
The military tribunal found the trio guilty of abuse and
disobeying orders, and sentenced Second Sergeant Irwan
Rizkiyanto to 10 months in jail, First Private Yakson Agu to
nine months, and First Private Tamrin Mahan Giri to eight months.
In footage posted on YouTube last year, the soldiers were seen
applying a burning stick to the genitals of an unarmed man and
threatening another with a knife as they interrogated them about
the location of a weapons cache.