19 Sep 2005

Swiss jounalist dismayed at acquittal of Papua police boss

2:01 pm on 19 September 2005

A Swiss journalist who witnessed the Abepura incident in 2000 in Indonesia's Papua province says a police commissioner acquitted of charges in connection to the incident should be held accountable.

This month, Senior Commissioner Daud Sihombing was the second high-ranking officer to be found not guilty of committing crimes against humanity.

Police under his command detained 99 villagers in December 2000 and arrested suspected Free Papua Movement rebels after an attack on the police station in Abepura left one officer dead.

The police raids on nearby villages left three people dead, with others alleging fatal beatings and torture in police custody.

Oswald Iten, who was in a Papua prison at the time, says he witnessed a man beaten to death.

"I think he should bear responsibility for it. Obviously, this will not happen in Indonesia but maybe in some other countries. I hope those countries who can prosecute torture cases even if they didn't happen in their own country, I hope that they will keep an eye on Mr Sihombing at least, if he should travel abroad."

Swiss journalist, Oswald Iten.