17 Jan 2011

US watches Papua torture trial in Indonesia

5:18 am on 17 January 2011

The United States says it is closely monitoring the trial of three Indonesian soldiers accused of torturing two Papuans.

A State Department spokesman, Philip Crowley, says it is vitally important for Indonesia to reform its security forces and hold those forces to high standards, in terms of individual conduct and human rights.

The soldiers appeared before a military tribunal, after the online broadcast of a video showing the torture of civilians.

They were charged only with disobeying orders.

In the video, posted on YouTube last year, soldiers place a burning stick to the genitals of an unarmed man as part of an interrogation about the location of weapons.