Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks during a presser after a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Oorganization (NATO) Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on October 4, 2010 at NATOs headquarters in Brussels.
SYDNEY, KOMPAS.com – A leading rights body Friday urged Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to press Indonesia for a full investigation into torture by its military when she visits next week. Gillard should “demand that recent cases of torture by Indonesian security forces are credibly investigated, not swept under the carpet,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The call comes after a video showing two Papuan man being kicked and abused appeared on the Internet, sparking international outrage. Indonesia later admitted its soldiers were involved, calling their behaviour “unprofessional”. In August, police officers of Detachment 88 are alleged to have tortured a group of detained Maluku province independence activists.
Canberra gives millions of dollars for funding to the Detachment 88, the Indonesian counter-terrorist unit born in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombing. Gillard will meet Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta next week during her first regional trip since becoming prime minister.
Australia provides assistance to Indonesia, its closest neighbour, on a range of counter-terrorism policies through the training of the Indonesian military forces. Recently, Australia’s special forces held anti-terror exercises with their Indonesian counterparts in Bali.
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