‘Committed to human rights’, claims Indonesia over West Papua torture

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Recent Indonesian military images showing torture of indigenous Papuans
Latest Indonesian military images showing torture of indigenous Papuans, including a screenshot from the savage oil barrel video that has gone viral. Image: X:@angkytm

The Indonesian government has confirmed it is investigating a viral video showing security forces in Papua torturing a civilian.

The video — which can be seen here – shows an indigenous Papuan man with his hands tied behind his back in an open fuel drum filled with water being kicked, punched and sliced with a knife by a group of men, some of whom are wearing Indonesian military uniforms.

In an email response, the Indonesian Embassy in New Zealand said: “The incident is deeply regrettable.”

“The government of Indonesia is committed to its long-standing policy of respecting and promoting human rights as well as its strict policy of zero impunity for misconducts [sic] by security forces,” it said.

“The investigation to the matter is currently taking place.”

The embassy said “since this is an ongoing investigation” it will not be able to comment further.

‘Speak up’ — campaigners
Meanwhile, West Papua solidarity groups in Aotearoa are calling on the New Zealand government to register its concerns with Indonesia after the torture video surfaced online.

West Papua Action Aotearoa spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said New Zealand must speak out against ongoing human rights abuses in Papua.

“Well we are calling on the New Zealand government to speak up about this,” she said.

“The very least they can do is to challenge Indonesia about this incident and its context which is the ongoing state military violence against civilians.”

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) president Benny Wenda is calling for a UN human rights visit to West Papua.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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