Monday, June 18, 2012

Why are we training Indonesia's murderers?

Indonesia's Kopassus special forces have an extremely unpleasant reputation, being linked to torture, disappearances and murder in West Papua, in East Timor before independence, and in Indonesia itself. To pick one example, in 2010 a group of them filmed themselves torturing people in West Papua. And we're helping to train them:

Major Edwin Sumanta recently attended New Zealand's premier military educational institution, the Command and Staff College at Trentham, near Wellington.

Kopassus conducts special operations for the Indonesian government and has been widely accused by human rights groups of violating human rights in Papua and Aceh.

Radio New Zealand International was told by a Defence Force spokesperson that the involvement of Major Sumanta in the college's course is too sensitive for public comment.

Meaning "it might look bad", I guess. And so it should. Kopassus are murderers. And we shouldn't be helping them to become better at it, or to further oppress the people of West Papua. The only reason we should ever allow one of these murderous thugs into our country is to put them on trial for the crimes they have committed.