Jan 26 2011
The three soldiers shown torturing villagers in this video were sentenced to terms of eight to ten months of prison for abuse and insubordination. The relatively light sentences prompted anger among human rights groups, who complained that no torture charges were brought against the officers.
This is an update of a story posted here in Oct. 2010: indonesia-muslim-security-forces-burn-the-genitals-of-papuan-minority-warning-graphic-images
OBSERVERS France24–A video showing Indonesian soldiers torturing indigenous people from West Papua was posted on the internet in October 2010. According to our Observer, such acts are commonplace in a region where the military has free reign to suppress the slightest sign of rebellion.
The video posted on the Asian Human Rights Committee website is in two parts. In the first part Indonesian soldiers can be seen arresting a group of indigenous Papuans. The villagers, who are accused of having links to separatist organizations in the region, are insulted and receive several blows to the head.
In the second part of the video, two bound men are subjected to physical abuse and humiliation while being questioned about their supposed involvement with armed separatist groups. One of them is threatened with a knife to the throat. The other man, who is visibly older, has a plastic bag over his head and his genitals are being burned with a burning stick.
The army says the presence of armed groups in the region justifies its actions. Villages are frequently burned down [a video of a village reduced to ashes was posted on the Internet a few days ago], women are raped and men are tortured. The aim is to intimidate and to stifle all forms of freedom of expression.
Papuans are subjected to numerous humiliations. The soldiers cut the hair of men with traditional hairstyles. When they happen upon people who don’t speak the language, they bully them. The communities are forced to flee their villages. The government stops journalists and NGOs from coming to work in this province to ensure the army can act as it pleases.