Jan 16, 2015

West Papua: No Change in Human Rights Situation in 2014

Photo courtesy of: Sukanto [email protected]

A recent report published by the Australia West Papua Association outlining the events and abuses in the region shows little change in 2014 compared to previous years. Clashes between government forces, rebels, and demonstrators regularly occurred, and on several occasions, the armed forces fired into civilian crowds killing peaceful protesters.

Below is an article published by Radio New Zealand:

The Australia West Papua Association says there was no improvement in the human rights situation in the region in 2014, despite some governments claiming abuses against Papuans are a thing of the past.

Its new report outlines events and abuses in West Papua last year.

The Association's secretary, Joe Collins, says there were regular clashes and shooting incidents between Indonesian security forces and the rebel OPM organisation, or unidentified armed groups.

He says these operations resulted in military sweeps which commonly resulted in citizens' houses, food gardens and livestock being destroyed and the people left traumatised.

"The year began in January 2014 with the military conducting a couple of sweeps in response to an attack on a police station, and of course ended tragically with the killing of five civilians in December when the security forces shot into a civilian crowd of approximately 800 people, killing five."

Joe Collins says the security forces seem to have difficulty distinguishing between separatists and the public.