Tag Archives: military intimidation

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.

Socrates is not afraid; DPRP should summon military command and police chief

Bintang Papua, 11 August 2010

Sokrates is not afraid

DPRP should summon military command and police chief

Jayapura: Although faced with the threat of the use of force by the police, the chairman of the Central Board of the Baptist Churches in Papua, Reverend Socrates Sofyan Yoman, is not afraid.

On the contrary, he has accused the police of lack of fairness in their law enforcement in the Land of Papua. He said that complaints about the involvement of the police and the army have been made by many other people but he is the only person to have been summoned by them.

‘I am very concerned at the unfairness of the police and their lack of professionalism,’ said Socrates in a short statement to the press..

He said that many other people have criticised the security situation in the district of Puncak Jaya but none of them have been summoned by the police. ‘In my opinion, the forces of law enforcement are acting on behalf of sponsors keen to exert pressure on me as a church leader.’

He has repeatedly said that he is ready to face any consequences and will never run away should the police use force against him.

‘If they want to come and arrest me, I am waiting for them in my office or at home. I am not going anywhere because this is my homeland,’ he said.

It is worth recalling that Yoman rejected a decision by the Constitutional Court in April this year to prohibit the delivery of several of his books to the shops, and he said quite frankly on the Kick Andi programme on Metro TV that he totally rejected this ban. The Baptist Church believes that the security forces are imprisoning justice and democracy.

He said that the Papuan Baptist Church has called on the Indonesian parliament, the DPR, to summon the military commander of West Papua and the chief of police of Papua to explain why it is that the Puncak Jaya case which has been going on since 2004 has never ended, to reveal who is behind it and who is benefiting from a case that has caused so many casualties among the people.’

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Bintang Papua, 11 August 2010

Sem Yaru not afraid of being punished

On Thursday 12 August, the court in the case against Semuel Yaru aka Sem Yar, Luther Wrai and Alex Mebri (on the wanted list) who are being tried for rebellion in conection with a peaceful demonstration and flying the Morning Star flag, is due to announce its verdict, according to a member of legal team, Gustaf Kawer.

He said that the defendant Sem Yaru has said on several occasions during the trial that he is ready to face the verdict and will comply with the court’s decision. ‘I have been confronted for years with the issue of ‘makar’ (rebellion). I am ready for whatever happens,’ he said.

Making it clear that he is not guilty, Sem Yaru said that he is not afraid of whatever happens, however harsh the sentence will be. ‘Why should I be afraid? This is a democracy and everything that I have done is in accordance with [the principles of ] democracy.’

On 16 November 2009, Sem Yaru, along with Luther Wrait and Alex Mebri mobilised the masses and produced a leaflet, as well as making other preparations for a demonstration in the forecourt of the office of the Majelis Rakyat Papua in Koraraja. On that occasion, Sem Yaru held aloft the Morning Star flag and tied it to a tree.

Thereupon he was arrested by the police and charged under Article 106 of the Criminal Code for rebellion and under Article 110 for incitement.