9 Nov 2010

Papuans stage rally to coincide with Obama's Jakarta visit

7:22 pm on 9 November 2010

Hundreds of Papuan students are reported to have staged a rally in Jakarta to coincide with the visit to Indonesia of US President Barack Obama.

The Jakarta Post reports that the chairman of the Papuan Students Alliance, Rinto Kogoya, says the rally was aimed to attract Mr Obama's attention to Papua's problems, including human rights violations and environmental damage.

Rinto says the US played a role in the incorporation of Papua region into Indonesia by supporting Jakarta.

The rally also visited the office of US-based gold mining giant Freeport which is accused of causing environmental and rights abuses around its massive mine in Timika.

Meanwhile, West Papua Media Alerts reports that at least 5,000 people demonstrated in Manokwari on Monday, calling for government help in addressing Indonesian military abuses.

About 700 security force officers were reported to be monitoring the rally.