Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Media release -18 years since the Biak Massacre in West Papua

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
 PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

Media release 5 July 2016 

18 years since the Biak Massacre

                                                         From  Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal website

On the 2 July in 1998 the West Papuan flag, The Morning Star flag was raised on top of a water tower near the harbour in Biak.  Up to seventy-five people gathered beneath it singing songs and holding traditional dances.  As the rally continued many more people in the area joined in with numbers reaching up to 500 people.

On the 6 July the Indonesian security forces attacked the demonstrators massacring scores of people.  The victims included women and children who had gathered for the peaceful gathering. They were killed at the base of the water tower. Other Papuans were rounded up and later taken out to sea where they were thrown off naval ships and drowned. No security force personal were ever charged over the killings.

18 years late the West Papuan people continue to suffer human rights abuses
Since the beginning of May over 3000 West Papuans have been arrested in peaceful rallies throughout West Papua. Although the majority of activists were eventually released, during the arrests on the 2 May in Jayapura a large number of activists were taken to the Mobile brigade (BRIMOB) headquarters and made to remove their shirts and put in a field in the extremely hot midday sun. Seven activists were also reported to have been tortured.  

The tragedy of the Biak massacre reminds us of the ongoing suffering of the West Papuan people and the importance of full membership for them at the MSG. 

AWPA urges the MSG leaders to respond compassionately and courageously to the application from the ULMWP by granting them full membership at the MSG

Searching for the truth about a massacre in West Papua

The Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal

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