On July 6th, 1998, shortly after the anniversary of the West Papuan declaration of independence, a Massacre took place in the city of Biak, West Papua. Papuan freedom fighters led by Filep Karma had raised the Morning Star flag, symbol of the free nation of West Papua, on July 1st, and staged a peaceful demonstration at the Kota Biak water tower for six days.
At 5:00am on July 6th, Indonesian soldiers began to shoot at protestors from all four sides with live ammunition. Many were gunned down trying to escape. Witnesses said that even people who were already lying on the ground were shot by the cowardly soldiers. Survivors of the initial attack were rounded up and held in detention for several days.
About 200 surviving demonstrators were then taken out to the open ocean by the Indonesian Navy, and thrown overboard to drown.
Beginning July 27th, 33 bodies, including many young children, washed ashore in East and North Biak over several days. The Indonesian military claimed that they were victims of the Aitape Tsunami that struck Papua New Guinea on July 16th, some 1000km away.
More detailed accounts of the massacre can be found on the Biak Tribunal website and in a Human Rights Watch investigative report from 1998. A 1999 report by Elsham Papua entitled Names Without Graves, Graves Without Names provided preliminary information about some of the victims of the massacre.
To this day, none of those involved in the mass-murder have been held accountable for their actions.
The Citizens Tribunal on July 6th is intended to bring to light some of the perpetrators of this horrific crime against humanity. Justice may never be served for the victims of the Biak Massacre, but at least the monsters behind it can be exposed for all the world to see and remember.
Here is a short list of those involved in the Biak Massacre, as well as Wanted Posters of some of the culprits provided by AK Rockefeller for the Tribunal.
- Hotman Siagian – POLRI: Brigadier General, Regional Police Commander (Kapoplda IrJa)
- Amir Sembiring – ABRI: Major General, Regional Military Commander (KODAM VIII/Trikora)
- Freddy Numberi – Former Navy: Governor (retired Vice Admiral in the Indonesian Navy)
- Agus Hedyanto – ABRI: Colonel (Inf Fx), Biak Military Commander
- Johnny Rori – POLRI: Colonel (Lt Col), Biak Police Commander
- Amandus Mansnembra – Civilian: Biak District Head (Bupati)
- Wiranto – ABRI: Commander of Armed Forces (Panglima ABRI)
- B J Habibie – ABRI: President, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
Fact Finding Team:
- Herry Risdiyanto – ABRI: Kapendam VIII/Trikora Lt Col., Regional Command spokesperson
- Hendragiri – Polisi Militer: Military Police Commander Kodam VIII, Kol CPM
- Watch a video about the Biak Massacre by Journeyman Pictures
- Learn more about the Biak Massacre on Biak-tribunal.org
- Watch the Citizens Tribunal live on July 6th in Sydney, Australia, 10am – 5pm
- Register to attend the Tribunal in person