Alarming video of Indonesian forces shooting, beating and kicking civilians at a peaceful rally in West Papua has emerged ahead of a US visit to the region. Ten people are believed to have died when Indonesian security forces broke up the rally of independence activists last month.
The video comes ahead of a visit to Bali by the US President and Secretary of State, for a regional summit. The US has applauded its ‘new partnership’ with Indonesia, but only last week Hillary Clinton criticized its human rights abuses.
The disturbing footage was smuggled out of West Papua exactly one year after scenes of Indonesian soldiers torturing Papuan mencaused worldwide revulsion.
These latest clips allegedly show a local police commander giving the order to break up the rally on the outskirts of Jayapura – and the brutal and unprovoked violence that ensued.
Indonesian security forces, many in plain clothes and wearing crash helmets, are seen randomly firing their weapons and arresting scores of people, many of whom are punched, kicked, beaten or forced to crawl along the ground.
Reverend Benny Giay from West Papua says violence has escalated since the Congress was dispersed. ‘I think maybe this is the Indonesian military and police’s response to the international pressure. The response is that they are being sent to Papua to kill, terrorize and abduct Papuans, but please do keep on the international pressure. Please tell people what is happening here for the sake of our future, our lives, our culture, our identity and our very existence.’
West Papua has been ruled by Indonesia since 1963, and more than 100,000 civilians are believed to have been killed during its occupation.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Indonesia’s brutal occupation of West Papua is a catalogue of some of the worst human rights abuses and violations of tribal peoples in recent times. Hillary Clinton should use her visit to the country to highlight the horrific violence that Indonesia is wreaking on all those who dare to oppose its rule.’