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Indonesian Soldiers Jailed in Aceh

An Indonesian military tribunal has jailed three soldiers for beating up villagers during the offensive against separatist rebels in Aceh province. Military judge Major Hulwani told the court in Lhokseumawe that the three men had tarnished the reputation of the armed forces, and sentenced each to four months and 20 days in prison. Prosecutors had recommended tougher sentences, but Judge Hulwani said the defendants had admitted their wrongdoing and had no criminal records. The men were charged in relation to an incident in Lawang, in Bireun district, on 27 May. Three residents, including the village chief, were badly beaten by soldiers hunting for separatist rebels from the Free Aceh Movement (Gam). Four other soldiers have been charged in connection with the same incident. Three of them went on trial on Monday. This is the first court-martial to take place since Indonesia launched its crackdown in Aceh on 19 May. Full Story

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