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Home » , , , » Papuan torture victims ready to testify

Papuan torture victims ready to testify

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on March 27, 2011 | 10:19 PM

By Indonesian correspondent Matt Brown

Indonesia's National Human Rights Commission says the military should reopen a stalled investigation into the torture of two Papuan men.
The National Human Rights Commission sent a team to Papua to investigate the torture of the men, which was captured in a chilling video which was shown around the world.
The commission says it has located the two torture victims and they are ready to testify against their abusers.
Commissioner Nur Khollis says the team is focused on asking the military to reopen the case.

"The key issue is not the facts, but the reluctance of the military to proceed with the case, saying they have no evidence," he said.
"We've provided the evidence for them to begin with."
The video attracted international scrutiny because it recorded the torture in graphic detail and it still stands as a test of Indonesia's professed commitment to upholding human rights.
Soldiers took a burning stick to the genitals of one man, who was bound and naked, and they held a hunting knife to the face of another.
It soon emerged that the military had failed to investigate thoroughly. Instead it prosecuted a group of soldiers for a separate, less severe case of video documented torture.
In the process it embarrassed Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who went to Jakarta last month and steadfastly repeated her faith in assurances that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
The military said it could not prosecute those responsible because it could not find witnesses and no-one would confess.
It also refused to allow the Human Rights investigators to question the junior soldiers stationed in the area.
Indonesia's Foreign Ministry made reassuring sounds about Mr Yudhoyono's commitment to a proper inquiry but the military continued to resist, insisting it had no reason to look any further.
When the Human Rights Commission investigators went to Papua to meet the military, even they were greeted by a stone wall in jungle green.
"We met high-ranking officers down there, but we did not get adequate information," Mr Khollis said.
And Mr Yudhoyono, the former reformist general-turned-president, is yet to prove he can command the armed forces to confront their ongoing history of human rights abuse.
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