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Home » , , » Indonesia: Hold Abusers From Military Accountable

Indonesia: Hold Abusers From Military Accountable

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on January 28, 2011 | 5:48 PM

(New York) – The Indonesian government should ensure that soldiers responsible for abuses are appropriately prosecuted and punished, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2011. The January 24, 2011 verdict in a Papua military tribunal of eight to ten months’ imprisonment for soldiers who engaged in torture was woefully inadequate, Human Rights Watch said.
The 649-page report, Human Rights Watch’s 21st annual review of human rights practices around the globe, summarizes major human rights trends in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. Over the past 12 years, Indonesia, the report says, has made great strides in becoming a stable,
democratic country with a strong civil society and independent media, but serious human rights concerns remain.
Download the complete report > [PDF, 4 MB]
“Senior officials must both talk the talk and walk the walk on human rights,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The military should stop shielding its officers from prosecution, and the government needs to hold abusers accountable.”
In July 2010, the US government lifted its ban on military assistance to Kopassus, Indonesia’s elite special forces, despite continuing concerns about its human rights record. Strong evidence of security force involvement in torture emerged in 2010. Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro pledged to suspend soldiers credibly accused of serious human rights abuses, to discharge those convicted of abuse, and to cooperate with their prosecution. But only a handful of cases made it to military tribunals, and the charges did not reflect the gravity of the abuses committed.
In October, a 10-minute cell phone video came to light that showed Indonesian soldiers interrogating and brutally torturing two Papuan men, Tunaliwor Kiwo and Telangga Gire. In the video, Kiwo screams as a piece of burning wood is repeatedly jabbed at his genitals. After pressure from foreign governments, the military finally held a tribunal in Jayapura, Papua, in January. But it is only tried three of six soldiers in the video – Second Sgt. Irwan Rizkiyanto, First Pvt. Jackson Agu, and First Pvt. Thamrin Mahamiri of the Army’s Strategic and Reserve Command (Kostrad) 753rd battalion – on military discipline charges, rather than for torture. The three were sentenced to ten months, nine months, and eight months respectively. Military prosecutors only sought sentences of up to 12 months rather than the maximum 30 months as allowed under the military criminal code. : This Source
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