|Penangkapan Aktivis Papua /Photo KNPB|
A new report on human rights abuses in Indonesia’s provinces of Papua and West Papua says killings, torture and arbitrary arrests by security forces go unpunished.
The International Coalition for Papua, a group of human rights groups, has published the report, which covers events from October 2011 to March 2013.
It says security forces continue to raid villages in retaliation for conflict and to intimidate indigenous communities, resulting in the displacement of people.
A witness of a massacre in the remote district of Tingginambut confirmed 40 people were killed by the military in May.
It was the same month that Indonesia’s President received an award in the United States for promoting religious freedom, amid claims by human rights groups that entrenched laws discriminate against religious minorities.
The report says there are no independent mechanisms to hold perpetrators accountable, and illegal activities by the military continue with impunity.
MSG move seen as internationalisation of West Papua issue
The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says the decision by the Melanesian Spearhead Group to retain its application for MSG membership is a major boost to efforts to bring the West Papua issue into the United Nations.
The WPNCL has released a statement on the decision by MSG leaders at their summit last week to approve a roadmap on which the application can be considered.
At the Noumea summit, MSG leaders officially addressed the sensitive issue of human rights violations in Indonesia’s Papua region for the first time.
The MSG agreed to send a delegation to Indonesia this year to discuss West Papua, paving the way for a subsequent decision on the membership bid.
The WPNCL’s Andy Ayamiseba says movement on the issue at MSG level is significant.
“It is a clear indication that the case of West Papua is out of Indonesia’s hands. It is no longer a domestic issue or internal matter but it’s not become a regional issue, an international issue.”