World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Clinton Avoids Indo Papuan Torture Issue

By Ilya Gridneff, Papua New Guinea Correspondent
PORT MORESBY, Nov 3 2010

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has declined to comment on Indonesian military filmed torturing West Papuans. In late October Indonesia admitted that its soldiers had tortured Papuan men seen in an online video being beaten and humiliated, and promised a thorough investigation.

Amnesty's Asia-Pacific Deputy Director Donna Guest said in a statement at the time: "The release of this video is the latest reminder that torture and other ill-treatment in Indonesia often goes unchecked and unpunished."

But Mrs Clinton told reporters, during a brief visit to Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, the US was "a friend and ally" of both Indonesia and PNG. "I have no comment on the specific matter you refer to," she said.

"The government of Indonesia and the Indonesia military has made significant changes in the last years, in the ten years of democracy. "If there are continuing violations of human rights, then they should be investigated by the appropriate authorities and those responsible should be held accountable," she said.

PNG, which shares a 750km border with Indonesia, allows Papuans to cross into their country and has given many Papuans refugee status due to prolonged persecution by Indonesia authorities. PNG prime minister Michael Somare said PNG Foreign Affairs minster Sam Abal contacted his counterpart in Indonesia regarding the issue but has not had a response. "The particular incident you are talking about, we are aware of it," Sir Michael said. "It does happen. "There are groups who are anti-Indonesia, they're our citizens, Papuans, West Papuans, they want to choose, they want self determination. "People want to go against the system and these things happen," he said.

Sir Michael said PNG shares "excellent relations" with Indonesia and commended the current president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono._ "The Yudhoyono administration has really moved far, far ahead (on the Papuan issue)," he said.

Indonesia took formal control of the Dutch colony in a widely criticised 1969 UN-sponsored vote by 1022 hand-picked Papuan village elders. _ Since then Indonesia has neutralised the Papuans' stubborn campaign for self-rule of a province where the traditional landowners have become an ethnic minority. _ The Papuan cause is Indonesia's biggest unresolved territorial dispute since East Timor gained independence in 1999 and Aceh's conflict was resolved in 2005.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>