7 Sep 2006

Papuan church leader rejects report from ICG that no genocide in province

7:00 pm on 7 September 2006

A church leader in Indonesia's Papua province has dismissed a report from the International Crisis Group which said allegations genocide was occurring in the troubled province are wrong.

The ICG report said that Papua is not a happy place, but neither is it a killing field.

It said there's low-level abuse and a past pattern of grave human rights violations but allegations of genocide by security forces are not well-founded.

But the Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman, who heads the Communion of Baptist churches in Papua, says the ICG has not visited Papua, let alone interviewed the indigenous people and the local NGOs.

He claims the ICG continually receives misinformation from the Indonesian military.

Reverend Yoman says there is strong evidence regarding human rights abuses and that genocide has been happening in Papua for over 45 years.