World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Killing Of Papuan Independence Leader

Indonesia: Amnesty International Condemns The Killing Of Papuan Independence Leader

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

12 November 2001
Amnesty International condemns the killing of Theys H. Eluay, a leading independence activist in Papua. The organization calls on the Indonesian government to immediately initiate a credible and impartial investigation so that those responsible for the killing can be brought to justice and the high levels of tension between the authorities and pro-independence supporters in Papua are not exacerbated.

Theys Eluay was abducted on his way to his home to Sentani Kota after attending an event organized by the Special Forces Command (Kopassus) in the Papuan capital of Jayapura late in the evening of 10 November 2001. His body was found the following morning in Koya, close to the border of Papua New Guinea. The motive for and perpetrators of the killing remain unclear.

Theys Eluay's driver, Aristoteles Masoka, is still missing and there are grave concerns for his safety. He called Theys Eluay's family on Saturday evening to tell them that they had been stopped by "non-Papuans", but the phone line was cut before he could relay anymore details. This was the last time he was heard from.

According to news reports, the police have launched an investigation. However, in the past the police have not proved to be impartial in investigations of inicidents where members of the security forces may be involved.

Background Theys Eluay had previously been a member of the provincial parliament and a supporter of Papua's integration with Indonesia. However, in recent years he had become a vocal supporter of independence. In February 2000 he became Chair of the Papuan Presidium Council, created to lead civilian support for Papuan independence.

He and other political leaders were briefly detained immediately after a congress in Jayapura in June 2000, in which representatives from throughout the province and from the exile community adopted a resolution calling on the Indonesian government to recognize Papuan independence. Five months later, on 29 November 2000, Theys Eluay and four other leading members of the Presidium Council were arrested and charged with "attempting to separate the state" and "expressing hatred against the government". Such charges, which were commonly used during former President Suharto's rule to silence political opponents, have come back into practice again during the last year and have been used to imprison a number of individuals for the peaceful expression of their views. The trials began in May 2001 and was ongoing at the time of Theys Eluay's death.

In November 2001 the Theys Eluay publicly rejected a new autonomy law recently adopted by parliament, which gives Papua greater control of its political and economic affairs, calling instead for talks with the government on the political future of Papua.

Despite his opposition to government policy in Papua, Theys Eluay was not trusted by all Papuans. He was suspected by some of having close links to the military and accused by members of the armed pro-independence movement, the Free Papua Movement, of undermining their military strategy to bring about independence.

Amnesty International has repeatedly expressed its concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in Papua. The organization has called on the Indonesia government to stop using repression against the independence movement and to include them in the process of seeking a political solution which places protection of human rights and justice for past violations at its centre.

****************************************************************
You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the list subscription message may be removed.
****************************************************************


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Abu Akleh Shooting: Fatal Shot Came From Israeli Forces, Says OHCHR
Israeli forces were behind the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the West Bank - not indiscriminate Palestinian firing - the UN human rights office, OHCHR, alleged on Friday... More>>


Ethiopia: Conflict, Drought, Dwindling Food Support, Threatens Lives Of 20 Million

Hunger is tightening its grip on more than 20 million Ethiopians who are facing conflict in the north, drought in the south and dwindling food and nutrition support beginning next month, the UN food relief agency warned on Thursday... More>>


Euro Med Monitor: Syria Cross-border Aid Mechanism Extension Is Necessary For The Survival Of Millions

Permanent members of the UN Security Council should extend the cross-border aid to northwestern Syria, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said Tuesday in a statement...
More>>



UN Ocean Conference: Opens With Call For Urgent Action To Tackle Ocean Emergency
With climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution exacting a devastating toll on the world’s ocean — critical to food security, economic growth and the environment... More>>

World Vision: Deeply Concerned For Thousands Affected By Afghanistan Quake
World Vision is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan in the wake of a powerful earthquake in the early hours of this morning... More>>



Malaysia: UN Experts Welcome Announcement To Abolish Mandatory Death Penalty

UN human rights experts* today commended an announcement made by the Malaysian government that it will abolish the country’s mandatory death penalty and encouraged Parliament to take concrete steps to pass the agreement into law... More>>