3 Indonesian soldiers were tried and convicted of ‘Insubordination’ and sentenced to 10 month prison terms.
The soldiers were captured torturing suspected West Papuan separatists, often to death, in videos that widely circulated the web.
One video showed a man holding in his guts after the soldiers had sliced open his stomach. The soldiers taunted the man, calling him and his people “stupid.” He bled to death in the street in the open light of day.
Since journalists are barred from West Papua it is rare to secure hard evidence of such incidents believed to be widespread.
In spite of International pressure to take the incident seriously, the Indonesian court claimed there was “insufficient evidence” for harsher charges.
In one video, Indonesian soldiers can be seen burning a Papuan man’s genitals with cigarettes, before placing a plastic bag over his head.
Indonesia’s President, Susilo Yudhoyono, called it a “minor incident.’
“The fact that the victims were too frightened to testify in person due to the lack of adequate safety guarantees, raises serious questions about the trial process,”
said Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Program Director Donna Guest.