As Clark visits Jakarta, out of sight West Papuans are abused

This week NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark will be visiting Malaysia and Indonesia. In a press release Clark described Indonesia, as a 'major' emerging 'democracy' in the South East Asia. The release also enthusiatically announces that 'Indonesia was New Zealand's 10th most important market last year, taking more than NZ$613 million in exports.' An Indonesian Military officer is currently receiving training in New Zealand. Her visit ironically co-incides with the release of a report by Human Rights Watch entitled 'Out of sight: Endemic Abuse and Impunity in Papua's Highlands which documents recent serious human rights abuses, such as murders, rapes and beatings committed by the Indonesian Military (TNI) against innocent West Papuan civilians. Over the past four years the TNI has been committing mass terror hunting suspected members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in Papua's remote Highlands area. Article 'Trouble in West Papua's Highlands' One Papuan man interviewed in the report described when the Mobile Brigade (BRIMOB), Indonesia's infamous military riot police, arrested him and several friends for taking part in a peaceful raising of the West Papuan independence flag: My teeth fell out. Blood flowed out. I was hit. I was kicked twice and then in the stomach twice again. I was kicked in the nose, the mouth and the teeth. More kicks were ordered and this was repeated. I could not count the number of times. I saw all my friends given the same treatment. Blood was flowing from them and they were forbidden from going to the toilet. They ordered us to swallow our blood. My nose was bleeding. They ordered us to swallow the blood again. I do not know the name of the officer in command. They all punched us, taking turns. Western capitalist states, such as the US, Britain, Australia and NZ have used the War on Terror as an excuse to renew links with repressive reactionary forces in Indonesia, much in the same way as the 'threat of communism' was used as an excuse in the 1960s for the CIA to install the mass murdering General Suharto* as dictator of the nation. *dictator of Indonesia 1965-1998.

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