Inquiry into video of army torture

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The Independent Online

Indonesia confirmed yesterday that government soldiers could be seen torturing suspected separatists in a video posted online.

In a short video, men tied in contorted positions are held down on the ground and questioned. At one point, one man's genitals are burned. Another answers questions while a knife blade is jammed under his nose and occasionally dragged across his face and neck. The perpetrators' faces cannot be seen, but a uniform is sometimes visible.

Senior Security Minister Djoko Suyanto said that the abusers were soldiers and that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had launched an investigation. The victims were thought to be from the restive province of Papua.

"A comprehensive investigation of the unprofessional behaviour is under way," he told reporters after a cabinet meeting to discuss the footage, which was posted online and has drawn condemnation from newspapers, legislators and rights groups.