Australian Government Urges Yudhoyono to Ensure Papua Torture Case Resolved: Report

Australian Government Urges Yudhoyono to Ensure Papua Torture Case Resolved: Report
Jakarta Globe, 3 December 2010

 

Not Amused. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, pictured during her recent visit to Indonesia, has reportedly ordered the country's ambassador in Jakarta to express concerns about Indonesia's stalled investigation into the alleged torture of two Papuans.

In what one Australian media outlet is describing as an “embarrassing diplomatic tangle,” Australia’s Ambassador Greg Moriarty to Indonesia was ordered to raise concerns directly with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about Indonesia’s stalled investigation into the alleged torture of two Papuans by the military.

ABC Radio, on its Web site, reported that the Australian government raised concerns about an investigation by the Indonesian Military (TNI), which has failed to hold anyone accountable for the shocking incident in which five soldiers were caught on tape torturing two men.

A spokesperson for Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard told ABC that she was “concerned that there be a full and transparent investigation” and will “continue to make our expectations regarding this issue clear with the Indonesian government.”

The broadcaster reported that the issue was “shaping up as a true test of the extent of military reform; of Australia’s influence and of the Gillard government’s handling of an issue that has long bedevilled relations with Indonesia.”

Yudhoyono had previously assured the Australian government that the issue would be investigated thoroughly and those responsible brought to justice.

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta, when contacted by the Jakarta Globe, referred media inquiries to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra.

Australia and Indonesia have had a troubled relationship, which has been strained by human rights abuses committed by the TNI.

ABC quoted a presidential spokesperson as saying Australian pressure in the latest Papua case could “anger military hard liners, who’ll see it as unwarranted outside interference.”