3 Nov 2010

No immunity for torturers - president

8:46 am on 3 November 2010

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia says there is no immunity for members of the armed forces, after a video showed them torturing unarmed civilians in Papua province.

However, the ABC reports he has rejected international pressure to discuss the issue with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard who is in Jakarta for talks.

It became a news topic in various international media and we must take steps, Mr Yudhoyono says, adding that it's not because of pressure from anyone.

Military chief Agus Suhartono says five suspects have been identified and their files passed to military prosecutors. He has not named the suspects.

The video, which appeared online, showed two Papuan men being kicked and abused as soldiers interrogated them over the whereabouts of a weapons cache.

Human Rights Watch in New York has urged Ms Gillard to press Indonesia for a full investigation into torture by its military during her talks with Mr Yudhoyono.

The ABC reports Australia has worked closely with Indonesian security forces since 88 Australian tourists were killed in the 2002 Bali bombings.