8 Dec 2010

Pressure mounting on Jakarta to prosecute soldiers over torture of Papuans

6:28 am on 8 December 2010

Human Rights Watch has urged the government of New Zealand to push Jakarta to prosecute Indonesian troops who allegedly tortured two Papuan men.

The Indonesian military has dismissed claims that five soldiers tortured two Papuan men in May, despite the online release of a graphic video in which the genitals of one of the victims are burnt.

Ambassadors from both Australia and the US have recently urged Indonesia to pursue the case.

But the deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, Phil Robertson, says Indonesia is in denial about the case.

"The evidence is so clear. The information is available where the investigation could start. There's no reason why the Indonesian government should try and close this case prematurely. And the government, for its credibility, has to fully investigate. Otherwise no one is going to take Indonesia's pledges of military reform and respect for human rights seriously."

Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch.