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Cut military ties to Indonesia and demand justice for West Papua's murdered children

West Papua Action Auckland Media Release - December 10, 2018

Auckland West Papua Action Auckland is calling on the New Zealand Government to cut all military ties to the Indonesian security forces. Violence cannot solve the problems in West Papua.

Right now there is a military sweeping operation in Nduga in the highlands in response to a recent deadly attack on the men working on the controversial Trans Papua highway. (An armed wing of the OPM/Free Papua Movement claimed responsibility).

In the wake of this dangerous escalation of violence, local churches are calling on all parties to solve problems by dialogue, and to protect the rights of civilians many of whom have fled their homes in terror. There are reports that up to four civilians have been killed since the initial violence which claimed the lives of at least 16 men.

Four years ago on December 7 and 8th, 4 schoolboys were killed by security forces in Paniai a fifth died of his injuries earlier this year. To commemorate this day the grieving families and leading Church and human rights figures have released this moving film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTdvYkusAuA. Yones Douw, a peace and justice advocate with the Kingmi Church that the nations who 'encourage and assist the Indonesian police and military are implicated in their human rights violations.'

'Why on earth are we training and arming a military which has a shocking human rights abuse record? Abusers are almost never charged. New Zealand aid even includes highly questionable support such as the supply of equipment to the para-military counter-terrorism unit: Detachment 88.'

New Zealand should cut all military ties with Indonesia as a strong statement of our disapproval for ongoing abuses committed by the Indonesian military and for their failure to hold accountable those responsible for the 'Bloody Paniai' massacre and decades of documented human rights abuses against the West Papuan people.

For further information: Maire Leadbeater phone 027-4436-957

Background

NZ military aid to Indonesia

New Zealand's military engagement with Indonesia includes bilateral officer exchanges, talks and ceremonial military visits as well as the regular participation of senior Indonesian military personnel at the six month NZ Defence Force Advanced Command and Staff Course.

Official Information Act requests made by West Papua Action Auckland reveal a more extensive military and defence engagement. Under the heading of counter-terrorism work New Zealand supplies electronic surveillance equipment to Detachment 88, Indonesia's crack counter-terrorism police unit. This unit is notorious in West Papua for its use in violent repression against Papuan civilians engaged in peaceful acts of free expression, and it was reportedly responsible for the 2012 targeted killing of prominent activist Mako Tabuni..

For at least 10 years the New Zealand Government has given approval to the export to Indonesia of military aircraft parts including engines propellers and components for P 3 Orion, C 130 Hercules and CASA military aircraft. Some of these parts have been returned to Indonesia following repair or overhaul in New Zealand

Bloody Paniai

On 8 December 2014 Indonesian police and military brutally attacked a large crowd of unarmed protestors in Paniai. The security forces opened live fire into the crowd and killed four students who were taking part in a large demonstration protesting at military violence. The previous day a student, Yulianus Yeimo, was severely beaten by soldiers he subsequently died of his injuries, so the death toll for 'Bloody Paniai' is now at 5. At least 11 others were injured by bullets or bayonets. Despite official undertakings to take the case to the office of the General Attorney, none of the perpetrators have faced charges.

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