APSN Banner

23 years since the Biak massacre - not forgotten

Australian West Papua Association (Sydney) Statement - July 6, 2021

Today, the 6 July marks 23 years since the Indonesian security forces massacred scores of people in Biak, West Papua. The victims, included women and children who had gathered for a peaceful rally. They were killed at the base of a water tower flying the Morning Star flag. Other Papuans were rounded up and later taken out to sea where they were thrown off naval ships and drowned. No Indonesian security force member has been charged or brought to justice for the human rights abuses committed against peaceful demonstrators".

According to "the Papuan Institute for Human Rights Studies and Advocacy (Elsham Papua) recorded eight people died, three went missing, four severely injured, 33 mildly injured, and 150 people arrested and persecuted during the Biak massacre. The report also said 32 bodies were found in Biak water at that time". (In tabloid Jubi July 5 2021)

Joe Collins of AWPA said, "it is tragic that 23 years after the Biak massacre, the West Papuan people continue to be arrested, intimated and killed by the security forces and in fact the situation in West Papua continues to deteriorate with ongoing clashes between the security forces and the OPM. It was also reported that a commemoration will be held on the 6th in West Papua. Hopefully the security forces will allow the West Papuan people to commemorate the tragedy of Biak peacefully without interference.

Komnas HAM Papua head Frits Ramandey said:

"I have been contacted by those who will commemorate the Biak massacre [in a rally] on July 6. We demand relevant parties [especially the security forces] to facilitate them," Ramandey told Jubi in a phone call on Sunday. Let the Papuans remember the Biak Massacre.

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.

Source: https://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com/2021/07/23-years-since-biak-massacre-not.htm