AWPA condemns the brutal killing of 4 West Papuan civilians in Pigapu-Logopon Village in the Mimika Regency in Papua. The victims were residents of neighbouring Nduga district where there are regular clashes between the Indonesian security forces and the Free Papua movement.
Local media has reported that the mutilated bodies were found in sacks. Residents from the local village were shocked to find four sacks in the nearby river. The sacks contained headless and legless torsos.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, "although six elite troops who are accused of involvement in the killing were arrested, it should be remembered that it's rare for Indonesian security forces to be put on trial for human rights abuses in West Papua. Those that are usually receive very light sentences." An example is the killing of Chief Theys Eluay in 2001 by Kopassus officers. In the end four Kopassus soldiers were convicted and sentenced to just a couple of years for the killing. The Commander in Chief of the Indonesian army at the time said, the soldiers should be considered heroes. What did they do wrong? all they did was kill a rebel leader.
Joe Collins said, "it should also be remembered that Australia is involved in training and aiding the Indonesian security forces. If the idea is to make the Indonesian military more professional, the behaviour of the Indonesian troops in West Papua shows it is a total failure.?
In March of these year UN human rights experts expressed serious concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, citing shocking abuses against indigenous Papuans, including child killings, disappearances, torture and mass displacement of people.
Joe Collins said, "According to Canberra we have a special relationship with Indonesia. It's time for Canberra to use its good will with Indonesia to call on Jakarta to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to be allowed into West Papua to conduct an urgent independent investigation into the human rights situation as other Pacific leaders have done."