Video of torture in Papua could benefit separatists

Video of torture in Papua could benefit separatists
, 21 October 2010

A National Mandate Party (PAN) politician has urged for an immediate probe into torture allegedly committed by Indonesian Military (TNI) officers against Papuans, unless separatist rebel group in the province will exploit the issue to justify their fight.

“If a serious investigation is not conducted, it will only provide legitimacy to the separatists who have basis of support overseas,” PAN’s Bara Hasibuan told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

“This kind of situation can also give the separatists an instrument to strengthen their efforts to convince the international communities on their struggle. Their main reason to weaken Indonesia’s position is the fact that there are still a lot of human rights violations in that region [Papua],” he added.

Bara demanded heavy punishment for soldiers who were found guilty for the torture, a video of which circulated through YouTobe earlier this week.

“That’s the only way to prevent the video from being exploited as legitimacy,” he said.

The TNI has said it was still investigating on the validity of the video.