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Thursday, 17 May, 2001, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Action urged over Irian Jaya abuses
Irian Jaya provincial capital, Jayapura
The students were detained in Jayapura
By Richard Galpin in Jakarta

Indonesia's human rights commission has recommended that senior police commanders in the province of Irian Jaya should face investigation over alleged human rights violations.

The commission has just handed a report to state prosecutors detailing the killing of three students in Irian Jaya last December, allegedly by the police.

There is no choice but to conduct a real, good investigation

Asmara Nababan, human rights commission
The students were suspected of being supporters of the independence movement in the province.

The human rights commission has named 25 officers as either being directly involved, or being responsible because of their senior rank.

Both the provincial and district police chiefs are reportedly included in the list of names.

Students beaten

The human rights comission carried out a detailed investigation into the killings, and has delivered a damning verdict.

It describes how the police dragged more than 20 men and women from their dormitory in the middle of the night.

They were beaten with rifle butts and sticks, before being taken to the police headquarters in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

They were forced to strip and were burnt with cigarettes. Two men were beaten to death - a foreign journalist witnessed the killing of at least one of them.

According to the report, another man was shot dead, and several others seriously injured, including one who was paralysed.

All this was the response of the police to a raid by separatist rebels on a local police station in which two officers and a civilian were killed.

No connection

However, investigators believe there was no evidence linking the students to the rebel attack.

Asmara Nababan, a senior member of the human rights commission, says state prosecutors in the Attorney General's office must now act decisively.

"If we want to prove to our community and to the international community that this nation really wants to protect human rights, there is no choice for the Attorney General's office but to conduct a real, good investigation," he said.

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