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Boycott needed after torture trial farce

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 25 Jan 2011

The Australian Greens have called for the Government to cut all military ties with Indonesia in response to light jail terms handed down yesterday to Indonesian soldiers who tortured two Papuan men.

Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the conduct of the Indonesian government and the farcical trial of the three soldiers involved showed a "total lack of respect for human rights".

"What we have here is an open and shut case of severe torture, with video evidence, and the soldiers responsible will spend, at most, 10 months in prison and then continue their careers in the Indonesian army - they won't even be discharged. It is a disgrace - an absolute disgrace," said Senator Ludlam.

"There is no ambiguity here. A video of the torture shows the soldiers burn one man's genitals, suffocate him with a plastic bag and hold a knife to his throat. One of the victims said he was beaten for two days, held over a fire and had chillies rubbed into his wounds," he said. "First the Indonesian authorities claimed their soldiers were not responsible, and then charged them with ‘disobeying orders'. It was a pathetic response from a government that couldn't care less about the human rights of the Papuan people."

Senator Ludlam said the Australian Government must cut military and para-military ties with Indonesia.

"Why are we helping to train and arm these soldiers? Why do we fund the Indonesian National Police when its Detachment 88, a so-called counter-terrorism unit, has been linked to a series of human rights abuses?" said Senator Ludlam. "While human rights abuses, while torture continues in Papua and Maluku, we can not fund and train the people responsible."


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