Saturday, January 8, 2011
SBY Urged to Take Action against "Serious" Rights Violations in Papua
(News Today) - Indonesia's top human rights body on Thursday urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to take action against “serious“ rights violations by security forces in eastern Papua region.
The National Human Rights Commission has submitted to Yudhoyono a report on its investigations, including alleged torture of Papuans by soldiers in Puncak Jaya district last May, its chairman Ifdhal Kasim said.
The footage, posted on YouTube, shows soldiers applying a burning stick to the genitals of an unarmed man and threatening another with a knife as they interrogate them over the location of a weapons cache.
“Our investigations found that the military had committed serious human rights violations and we ask for those responsible to be brought to justice,“ Kasim said.
“Military (personnel) carried out torture and cruel and inhuman treatment, which demeans Papuans,“ he said.
The graphic video drew international media attention to allegations of widespread torture and abuse of activists and civilians in restive Indonesian regions such as Papua and the Maluku islands.
Rights groups including Amnesty International have demanded Indonesia investigate and punish the unidentified soldiers in the video, citing an entrenched culture of impunity in the country's security forces.
Kasim said the commission was told by high-ranking military officials that an “investigation is under way and a hearing will be held end January.“