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15 Years After Biak Massacre, West Papua Oppression Continue

15 Years After the Biak Massacre the Oppression of the West Papuan People Continues

Saturday the 6 July marks 15 years since the Indonesian security forces massacred scores of people in Biak , West Papua. The victims, included women and children who had gathered for a peaceful rally. They were killed at the base of a water tower flying the Morning Star flag. Other Papuans were rounded up and later taken out to sea where they were thrown off naval ships and drowned.

The Australian Government who knew about the massacre turned a blind eye and did not protest to the Indonesian Government. (Between  July 11 - 14  an Australian Army Captain arrived in Biak to carry out an official investigation on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs)

Joe Collins of AWPA said , "it is tragic  that 15 years after the Biak  massacre West Papuans are still being killed, arrested and jailed for peacefully protesting  about the injustice they suffer under Indonesian rule. We keep hearing how Indonesia is now a democracy yet  during May, the  security forces cracked down on a number of  peaceful rallies resulting in 3 people  killed and  up to 20 arrested". 

There is no freedom of the press in West Papua as just days after first edition of the  Pelita Papua magazine was published, it was banned by the police simply because it covered  the issue of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) office in England.

West Papua is one of Australia’s nearest neighbours and the Australian Government should be doing everything it can to get Jakarta to negotiate with the West Papuan leadership to try and solve peacefully all the issues of concern in West Papua.


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