12 Dec 2003

US report condemns Indonesia's Papua policies

4:30 pm on 12 December 2003

A Yale university report says Indonesia has committed crimes against humanity in Papua province and may be guilty of genocide.

The report from the Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic says that over the four decades that Jakarta has controlled Papua, Papuans have suffered persistent and horrible abuses at the hands of the Indonesian Government.

The researchers say these abuses include widespread violence and extrajudicial killings.

They concluded that Papuan men and women have subject torture, disappearance, rape, and sexual violence, causing serious bodily and mental harm.

It says there has been systematic exploitation of resources and labour, destruction of crops, transmigration and forced relocations.

The report says these activities have harmed the environment, brought widespread disease and wrecked Papuan culture, which is says, taken collectively constitute crimes against humanity.

It says any inference that the actions amount to genocide remain tentative given the difficulties in obtaining comprehensive data.

But the reporters have concluded that the evidence strongly suggests that the abuses detailed show Indonesia has committed proscribed acts with the intent to destroy Papua as such, in violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.