8 Dec 2010

Jakarta's credibility at stake over Papuan torture case, says Human Rights Watch

8:20 am on 8 December 2010

Human Rights Watch says Jakarta is in denial about the widely-publicised case of Indonesian troops allegedly torturing 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 urged Indonesia to pursue the case, and comments from Australia's Prime Minister this week have also added pressure on Jakarta over the issue.

The deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, Phil Robertson, says Indonesia's credibility is at stake.

"You know the credibility of engagement by a number of governments like the US and Australia (with Indonesia) are also on the line because they have said in the past that through engaging with the Indonesian armed forces that they can reform them, they can make them more respectful of human rights. This video is a clear test case and so far the Indonesians are failing the test."

Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch.