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ABC radio report cites Indonesian ‘terror’ unit killings claim in Papua

Morning Star flag

West Papuans raise the banned pro-independence Morning Star flag at an unspecified location. Image: AFP File

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Peter Lloyd

An elite counter-terrorist police unit in Indonesia has been accused of carrying out a mass killing in a village in the central highlands of Indonesia’s disputed Papua province, according to ABC radio.

Activists says 11 people were killed and 20 more are missing after a combined military and police crackdown on support for the Free Papua pro-independence movement (OPM) in April.

The names of victims and several grisly photographs have been provided to ABC’s PM programme by the armed wing of the movement, Pacific Media Watch reports.

It is impossible to verify the claims, but Indonesia’s Embassy in Canberra has agreed to take up the matter.

Indonesian police say the claims are untrue. The Papua police spokesman, Inspector Gede Sumerta Jaya, says the killings did not happen and that unit does not operate in the Papua provinces anymore.

The disputed Indonesian Papua province is the least populated but most restive corner of Australia’s vast near neighbour.

For 50 years Papuans have agitated for independence from their Javanese masters in a campaign fought bitterly on both sides.

Pace of violence
In recent weeks the pace of violence has quickened, especially in the central Highlands.

Shootings have become so frequent that locals have taken to calling it the “Gaza Strip”.

It is from this territory that the shocking claims of extra-judicial killings are emerging.

The ABC conducted an interview with the spokesman for the military wing of the Free Papua organisation, Jonah Wenda, via an exchange of text messages after telephone communications failed.

He said that an entire village was targeted.

“Indonesian government fear this village is a strong hold of Freedom Fighters in the centre highlands of West Papua,” he said.

Taken from homes
“TNI and police did this. They were picked from different places like school, gardens, on the road and even taken from their home and kill them and throw them in the bush, side of the road and through in the river.”

Wenda emailed the names of the 11 people he says were killed in the crackdown, all civilians.

He also provided several photographs of corpses that appeared to have been beaten and suffered serious injuries.

He also said there were two instances of rape.

None of the claims can be verified, though they are strikingly similar in nature to allegations of human rights abuses by the Indonesian security forces.

One of the most notorious units, known as Densus 88, is partially equipped and trained by the Australian Federal Police.

Source: Pacific Media Watch Item: 8307

1 comment:

  1. Coralia, 27. May 2013, 15:45

    To say partly equipped & trained by AFP is an understatement – the whole reason of Densus 88’s existence was to spread the Aus/US counter-terrorism net to Indonesia after the Bali bombing.

    What kind of risk assessments does the AFP do? Wasn’t it obvious that something like this would happen? Or was that conveniently ignored because its beyond the scope of their governments’ primary objectives of keeping terrorists away from their homelands/protecting their citizens?

    Densus 88 is the sole responsibility of AFP & the US war machines.AFP for once could cease their multi-million dollar counter-terrorism training funds they’re pouring into the Pacific i.e. Fiji & re-divert it to Indonesia. Do something….don’t just train & equip demons & leave them to run free & terrorize/murder innocent people!