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MERDEKA! Struggle and survival in West Papua | REDFLAG

29.12.15

MERDEKA! Struggle and survival in West Papua | REDFLAG: A number of inquiries have been announced, but the 1997 Law on Military Courts blocks civilian investigators from interviewing military personnel. According to Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, there also is a “climate of fear … [that] inhibits local people from publicly discussing security force abuses”.

Indonesia maintains strict control over reporting from West Papua. Foreign journalists are banned; local reporters face intimidation. Yet the government can’t stop the flow of information about the atrocities being committed. Those with mobile phones now document events and distribute the images via social media to international solidarity campaigners and media outlets.

In January, there was another crackdown. More than 100 people were arrested, some tortured, and scores chased from their burning homes in Utikini village, in the Timika region south of Grasberg Mountain – the largest gold mine in the world. In another village, Banti, Indonesian soldiers burned down homes and chased locals into the nearby jungle.


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Dispatch: Aboriginal Press Media Group  |   Permalink  |   [29.12.15]  |   0 comments

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