News / Asia

Indonesian Soldiers Sentenced for Prison Murders

Indonesian special forces soldiers listen as judges deliver their sentence at a military court in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 5, 2013.
Indonesian special forces soldiers listen as judges deliver their sentence at a military court in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Sept. 5, 2013.
VOA News
An Indonesian court has sentenced eight special forces soldiers for breaking into a jail and executing four prisoners in a revenge killing.

The military court in Yogyakarta handed down sentences of six to 11 years for the three who led the attack.  ive others were given sentences of 21 months in jail.  Four others are expected to be sentenced Friday.

The soldiers carried out the killings in March in retaliation for the murder of another member of their unit, allegedly by the men being held in the jail.

The three ringleaders could have faced the death penalty and the relatively light prison sentences are being criticized.  National Committee for Human Rights Commissioner Menejer Nasution said in an interview with VOA that Indonesia the jail terms do not match up with the the severity of the crimes they were convicted of.

"According to ... the Indonesian Penal Code, premeditated murders carry the death penalty, or a life sentence, or 20 years imprisonment, correct?  Our initial note indicates a discrepancy.  The judge found that this was premeditated, and yet, the sentence did not reflect that," he said.

But the Chief defense lawyer, Colonel Rochmad, says the attack was not coordinated.

"As we stated in the trial, there was no element of planning whatsoever," he said.

The incident has highlighted political divisions in Indonesians.  The killings caused an outcry among many who remember the Suharto dictatorship when the military often acted with impunity.  But others have praised the solders for acting decisively against alleged gang members and rallied for their release outside the court.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid