Indonesia Should Investigate "Torture Video" in Papua, Says Amnesty International

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302,
Laura Spann: lspann@aiusa.org

 

Indonesia Should Investigate "Torture Video" in Papua, Says Amnesty International

WASHINGTON - The Indonesian government
should initiate an independent investigation into reports of torture and
other ill-treatment in Papua over the last two years, Amnesty International
said today.

“The release of this video is the latest reminder that torture and other-ill-treatment
in Indonesia often go unchecked and unpunished,” said Donna Guest, Amnesty
International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director.

A video published online last week shows
Papuans being kicked and physically abused, in some instances by men in
uniform.

“We continue to receive regular reports about torture by members of the
security forces," said Guest. "However, there are often no independent
investigations, and those responsible are rarely brought to account before
an independent court.”

Another recent police video obtained by human rights groups showed Yawan
Wayeni, a Papuan political activist, with severe abdominal injuries
receiving no assistance from police officials just before his death.
Yawan Waveni had reportedly been arrested by members of the Police Mobile
Brigade in August 2009 at his house in Yapen Island, Papua.

Amnesty International urges the Indonesian government to appoint the National
Human Rights Commission to lead the investigation. The government should
also ensure the security of the members of the commission carrying out
the investigation, as well as the security of victims, witnesses and their
families.

Amnesty International called on the Indonesian government to publicize
findings and make them accessible, whenever relevant, to victims and their
families.

“The authorities must send a clear public
message to all members of the security forces in Indonesia, especially
in Papua, that torture and other ill-treatment is strictly prohibited at
all times and, if it occurs, full criminal investigations will begin,”
said Guest.

In December 2009, Amnesty International wrote to the National Head of Police
to provide details about a pattern of police abuse in Nabire, Papua.

Between December 2008 and April 2009, police officials used unnecessary
and excessive force against demonstrators, injuring at least 21 people
there. Police also repeatedly beat and otherwise ill-treated at least 17
people during and after arrests between January and April 2009.

Amnesty International also received credible information on two cases of
unlawful killings by security forces in Papua during April and June 2009.

To date, Amnesty International has still not received a written response
to this letter, and is unaware of any independent and impartial investigation
into these reports.

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