4 Nov 2010

US Secretary of State declines to comment on torture video

9:43 am on 4 November 2010

The US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has declined to comment on Indonesian military filmed torturing West Papuans.

In late October Indonesia admitted that its soldiers had tortured Papuan men seen in an online video being beaten and humiliated, and promised a thorough investigation.

Amnesty's Asia-Pacific Deputy Director, Donna Guest, said in a statement at the time: "The release of this video is the latest reminder that torture and other ill-treatment in Indonesia often goes unchecked and unpunished."

But Mrs Clinton told reporters, during a brief visit to Papua New Guinea yesterday, the US was "a friend and ally" of both Indonesia and PNG.

She said she had no comment on the specific matter referred to.

However she did go on to say that if there are continuing violations of human rights, then they should be investigated by the appropriate authorities and those responsible should be held accountable.

Mrs Clinton is now in New Zealand for a 3 day visit.