Disturbing and graphic footage of two tribal Papuan men being tortured, allegedly by Indonesian soldiers, has led to widespread demands for an independent inquiry. One of the victims is an elderly man.
The incident is believed to have been filmed on the mobile phone of one of the soldiers as a "trophy". Analysis of the footage suggests it was taken in May this year in the highland region of West Papua, where a military operation has been taking place.
The shocking footage, found by Survival, shows an elderly man stripped naked, a plastic bag being forced over his head, and screaming in agony as a burning stick is held to his genitals. Exact details of the victims are hard to confirm due to military control of the area and a ban on journalists and human rights organizations from entering the region. However, reports suggest that the elderly man is still missing, presumed dead and the younger man, who is shown with a knife held to his face and throat, has since been released.
The Papuan tribal people have suffered enormously at the hands of the Indonesian military since 1963. The Indonesian army has a long history of human rights violations against the Papuans, including killings, torture and the rape of women, and children as young as three. For many years Indonesian soldiers have taken trophy photos, and now films, of killings and rapes, which they use to intimidate and humiliate Papuans. "This footage of an elderly man being tortured, allegedly by Indonesian soldiers, is truly horrific - commened Stephen Corry, of Survival - There must be a full, independent investigation into this atrocity. Soldiers have been killing, raping and torturing Papuans with impunity for almost 50 years. The international community cannot sit back and allow this to continue."