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Killing of OPM leader Kelly Kwalik

The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release 16 December 2009

Killing of OPM leader Kelly Kwalik

The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) is shocked to hear news of the death of OPM leader Kelly Kwalik who was shot by Indonesian police near Timika in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 16.12.09 ). He later died in hospital. Joe Collins of AWPA said "like all civil society organisations in West Papua the OPM also supported the concept of a zone of peace in West Papua. The OPM has also been calling for dialogue with Jakarta .Is this Jakarta's response, an attack on an OPM leader who is of great symbolic importance to the West Papuan people? Reports coming from West Papua have stated that the local market has been burned and people are also calling for the return of his body.

AWPA is concerned that with the increasing tension in the Timika region the security forces may use such outpourings of grief and loss by local people as an excuse to crack down and conduct military operations in the area.

AWPA calls on the Australian Government and the International community to urge Jakarta to control its security forces in the territory and urges the international community to send representatives to ensure this.

ENDS

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