Indonesian government admits its soldiers tortured Papuans

October 22, 2010

The footage has caused widespread outrage and revulsion. © Survival

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The Indonesian government has admitted that the men seen torturing two Papuans in a video released on the internet this week are soldiers.

The minister for security said the soldiers would be punished. An investigation into the incident is continuing.

Survival International’s Sophie Grig, who has visited West Papua, said today, ‘The soldiers responsible must be brought to justice, to end the atmosphere of impunity that has allowed the torture and killing of Papuans to continue for decades. The Indonesian government must put an end to the horrific human rights abuses committed by its forces.’

The video footage, believed to have been taken in May this year in the highland region of West Papua, shows an elderly man stripped naked, a plastic bag being forced over his head, and screaming in agony as a burning stick is held to his genitals.

The Indonesian army has a long history of human rights violations against the Papuan tribal people.

Survival International is calling on Indonesia to enter into an open dialogue with the Papuan people about their future, and to allow human rights workers and journalists, who have long been barred, into Papua.

Notes to Editors:
Sophie Grig is available for interview.

This video clip is an excerpt of a longer video, most of which is unsuitable for general viewing. Broadcasters can contact Survival for further footage.

Papuan Tribes