By Catherine Delahunty
Last week West Papuans suffered more abuse and injustice from Indonesian Police personnel.
The 1st of May marked 50 years of West Papua suffering under Indonesian rule. Citizens throughout Papua prepared to commemorate this day, however, events that occurred just prior to this date, typify and highlight the injustices that Papuans have suffered over the past 50 years.
On the 30th of April two young West Papuan protestors who were preparing to participate in commemoration events were shot and killed by police while a number of others were injured in the city of Sorong, This is an atrocious abuse of state power. I have urged the New Zealand Government to condemn the police actions and demand that Indonesian President Susilo Yudhoyono takes action.
He must stop state violence immediately and engage in dialogue for peace and justice in West Papua. The Indonesian Police have a documented history of citizen abuse and the New Zealand Government cannot be silent or indeed collude via our new proposed “community policing” training programme.
International concern has been voiced over the May 1st events including a statement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Pillay has described the police shootings as “[an] unfortunate example of the on-going suppression of freedom of expression and excessive use of force in West Papua.”