Today marks 22 years since the Biak Massacre when the Indonesian security forces massacred scores of people in Biak, West Papua.
On the 2 July in 1998, the West Papuan Morning Star flag was raised on top of a water tower near the harbour in Biak. Activists and local 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 were killed at the base of the water tower.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, "22 years after the Biak massacre no Indonesian security force member has been charged or brought to justice for the human rights abuses committed against peaceful demonstrators".
Collins said that "Recently Australia was one of 27 countries that issued a joint statement at the Human Rights Council which Called for an urgent investigation of the human rights situation in China, particularly for minorities" but "Australia continues to ignore the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua and makes no statement of concern about the treatment of West Papuans".
"If the Australian Government thinks that by ignoring the human rights situation in West Papua it will be forgotten? they are wrong. West Papua is not going away".
The Citizens Tribunal for the 15th Anniversary of the Biak Massacre was held on Saturday July 6th at the University of Sydney. Full Video Footage from the Tribunal is now available on the site http://www.biak-tribunal.org