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Home » , , , , , , , , , , , , , , » ‘Many Deaths’ During Ongoing Military Siege in Papua: Allegations

‘Many Deaths’ During Ongoing Military Siege in Papua: Allegations

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on December 16, 2011 | 1:18 AM

An international nongovernmental organization campaigning to highlight human rights abuses in Indonesia, has called for international intervention “after receiving highly distressing accounts of indiscriminate and brutal military raids” in West Papua.

Maire Leadbeater of the Indonesia Human Rights Committee said reports from West Papua indicated that thousands of villagers in Paniai are undergoing a “military siege involving horrendous destruction and violence.”
“Homes have been torched and villages razed, while helicopters are said to be strafing the villages. There are reports of  deaths, forcible evacuations and the displacement of thousands of people,” Leadbeater said.

‘We cannot confirm all the reports because the area is closed to journalists and humanitarian workers.  But there are compelling indications that the violence against the West Papuan people is escalating alarmingly.”

In an open letter to New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray, the committee said the reports made a compelling case for international intervention to stop the violence. 

“At the very least New Zealand should now insist that the area be opened up and journalists, the Red Cross and other humanitarian workers given free access, so that the information can be verified and appropriate help provided to the victims.”

Leadbeater, who signed the letter, said Indonesian security personnel, including from the Army, Mobile Brigade (Brimob) paramilitary police and elite counter-terrorism troops from Detachment 88 “are responsible for the razing of villages and forced evacuations.”

“This is apparently part of a military campaign against  local members of the Free Papua National Liberation Army.  We are advised that some 27 villages have been devastated, that  homes, schools and other buildings have been burnt and that an unknown number of people have been killed by live military fire. One report lists the names of 18 victims.”

The committee alleged that thousands of civilian refugees have fled the area to other villages around Enaratoli, on the opposite side of Lake Paniai.

“There is said to be a police supervised secure ‘Care Center’ in Enaratoli, which is overcrowded and lacking in basic requirements. Other refugees have fled into the forest or to live with other family members.”
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