Thursday, November 04, 2010

Indonesia / West Papua

Papuan Tells of Torture by Indonesian Soldiers
By Tom Allard
The Sydney Morning Herald, November 5, 2010
Photo: Karuni Rompies
"A Papuan man depicted in a video being burnt, suffocated and hit by Indonesian troops says he was tortured for two days, according to his testimony recorded and translated by Papuan activists. Tunaliwor Kiwo was shown in agony as the soldiers burnt his penis in the video, which was filmed in May and revealed exclusively in the Herald last month. It prompted a horrified response in Indonesia and around the world, and led to the rapid arrest of five Indonesian soldiers, who face a military tribunal today. But in the new testimony Mr. Kiwo, filmed two weeks ago, said the abuse was far worse than depicted in the first video. He spoke of being repeatedly beaten and suffocated, of his head being crashed into a wall and of being burnt with cigarettes during the first day of torture, which followed his arrest as he travelled by motorcycle with his friend Telangga Gire on the road from Tingginambut to Mulia, the capital of Puncak Jaya regency, a hotbed of separatist activity.
... Mr. Kiwo was certain he would be executed. The soldiers repeatedly accused him of being a Papuan separatist fighter and demanded he reveal the location of a weapons cache. On the third day, he said, he escaped. Mr. Kiwo is living in hiding, as is Mr Gire. The filmed testimony was obtained amid great secrecy by Markus Haluk, from the Papuan Customary Council, which oversaw the translation from Lani to Indonesian. The translation could not be independently verified by the Herald. Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has condemned the action depicted in the first video, and promised a transparent investigation. But the head of Indonesia's military, Admiral Agus Suhartono, has played down the seriousness of the offences. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during a brief visit to Papua New Guinea, would not comment on the incident but said any continuing human rights violations should be investigated and perpetrators held accountable. [...]"

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