Wednesday, December 24, 2014

HRW calls for joint investigation in Indonesia

Human Rights Watch has called for a joint military/police/human rights commission investigation into an incident in which Indonesian soldiers killed civilians in Papua. Their press statement observes:
“The Papua inquiry has been stymied because civilian investigators can’t interview the soldiers who were at the scene,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “A joint probe with police, military, and human rights investigators is crucial to ensure that all information is collected and that the findings will be taken seriously.”
The 1997 Law on Military Courts provides that only military investigators, prosecutors, and judges have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes by Indonesian military personnel. The system lacks transparency, independence, and impartiality, and has long failed to properly investigate and prosecute alleged serious human rights abuses by members of the military. In a number of cases over the past decade, the military justice system has dispensed extremely lenient sentences to soldiers convicted of serious human rights abuses against civilians.
Hats off to Human Rights Watch for indefatigably monitoring these and similar developments.

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