Indonesia: Papua situation said to be worse than reported by AHRC

The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says a new report into human rights abuses against Papuans by the Indonesian military in the late 1970s only covers a small portion of what has actually occurred there.

The Asian Human Rights Commission’s report says more than 4,000 Papuans were murdered, and another 10,000 died as a result of torture, disease and hunger.

It says what occurred amounts to genocide, and is calling on an ad hoc human rights court to be set up to try those responsible.

A spokesperson for the coalition, Andy Ayamiseba, says it is pleased a report by such a reputable organisation proves what the Free West Papua movement has been claiming for years.

But he told Mary Baines what is recorded does not tell the whole story – as more than 200,000 Papuans have been killed since the late 1970s.

ANDY AYAMISEBA: We’ve been preaching to the world about this for so long and we are so happy that the Asian Human Rights Commission have given out this report. The Asian Human Rights Commission is a very credible organisation, so we hope with that report it will make people think twice about what is happening in West Papua. It is a good start for us. We have all the dates of of everybody disappearing and more than that. There’s a couple of hundred thousand people who’ve been murdered up till now.

MARY BAINES: What would you like to see done? What is it that can be done?

AA: I think the solution to the case is the political status of West Papua, because Indonesia will continue killing, killing, killing until there is no Papuans.

MB: And these things are still going on today?

AA: Yes, yes. It’s still going on today. So they have to pay attention to the mess they have created in determining Papuan political status while the West Papuans are not involved, give no consent.

MB: Do you think that anything will come of this report? Do you think anyone will be tried in a human rights court?

AA: There should be justice taking place for all these human rights abuses. It is a serious matter for other people in the world. It’s so important. Especially Prime Minister Abbott from Australia, he said Papua will be better off staying within Indonesia. How the hell does he know that? While this report is coming out, he’s collaborating with the Indonesians, just contradicting the facts. I don’t understand how he could make such a statement against the fact that all Australians knew about this and the prime minister is declaring something different. We are very close neighbours and if you make a statement about West Papua it has to be genuine, not just to please the Indonesians. We are not sub-humans, we are human. We have our rights, as well.

MB: And has there been a response from the Indonesian government to this report?

AA: The minister of defence in Indonesia has requested evidence, but the Asian Human Rights Commission report is full of evidence. He said he’s not aware of such atrocities.