Monday, October 18, 2010

Indigenous Papuan's tortured

It is important that we do all we can to oppose injustice wherever it is. Part of opposing it is to spread information about what is going on. The struggle indigenous Papuans face in fighting for independance against Indonesia is immense. Tom Allard from the Sydney Morning Herald has published a story about a new shocking video showing torture of two Papuans.

From SMH
"Although Jakarta made an autonomy deal with the province almost 10 years ago, its indigenous Melanesian people remain the country's poorest while migrants flood into the resource-rich area and dominate business and paid employment, further marginalising the Papuans.
There have been repeated reports of abuses by the military and police, but foreign journalists are banned from entering Papua without special permission, while non-government groups, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been told to leave in the past year.
''We have been living under Indonesia for almost 48 years,'' said Victor Kogoya, a member of the central committee of the Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua, a Papuan student group. ''For all this time, we have never felt calm, never peace. Why? Because ever since the security state has been chasing us, arresting us, killing, terror and intimidation.''
The victims speak in the Papuan dialect Lani, strongly suggesting the video was filmed in Puncak Jaya, a regency in Papua's highlands where a unit of the armed Free Papua Movement commanded by Goliath Tabuni has been staging sporadic attacks on Indonesian police and military posts for the past two years.
Papua, which was formerly known as Dutch New Guinea, was not incorporated into Indonesia when it became a state in 1949. It was held by the Dutch until 1962 when, following Indonesian military incursions into the area, an agreement brokered through the Untied Nations gave Indonesia administrative control of the region pending a referendum.
That ''referendum'' involved just 1025 handpicked tribal leaders who unanimously agreed to join Indonesia. The so-called ''Act of Free Choice'' has been labelled fraudulent and remains a source of great anger for many indigenous Papuans.
While separatist sentiment remains strong, it has little international support. Australia recognises Indonesia's sovereignty over the region.
This struggle is close to us for many reasons not just geographical. kia kaha.

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