In what is surely a serious affront to human rights, the Indonesian government has sentenced three of its soldiers to ten, nine and eight months in prison respectively for their involvement in filming the torture of two West Papuan men. You can read about it here and here.
Some of the most egregious and violent acts involved are:
- Holding “a knife to the throat of a Papuan man who is nearly naked on the ground”
- Using a “heated bamboo stick” to burn one of the victim’s genitals
- “Three more days of torture in which the soldiers wrapped his [one of the victims] legs in barbed wire, put cigarettes out on his face, and repeatedly beat him”
- Beating and burning one of the victims for three days
How can the military say there “was not enough evidence to charge the soldiers with torture?” The soldiers filmed themselves engaging in these atrocious activities.
The Indonesian government has shown with its ruling that it does not take human rights seriously. The sentences given to the soldiers are tantamount to a slap on the wrist. What is the message the government is sending to its soldiers? Basically, it’s tacitly giving its soldiers the nod to harm West Papuan citizens by any method they want without facing serious repercussions.