15 Jan 2015

West Papua situation did not improve in 2014 - report

5:26 pm on 15 January 2015

The Australia West Papua Association says there was no improvement in the human rights situation in the region in 2014, despite some governments claiming abuses against Papuans are a thing of the past.

ts new report outlines events and abuses in West Papua last year.

The Association's secretary, Joe Collins, says there were regular clashes and shooting incidents between Indonesian security forces and the rebel OPM organisation, or unidentified armed groups.

He says these operations resulted in military sweeps which commonly resulted in citizens' houses, food gardens and livestock being destroyed and the people left traumatised.

"The year began in January 2014 with the military conducting a couple of sweeps in response to an attack on a police station, and of course ended tragically with the killing of five civilians in December when the security forces shot into a civilian crowd of approximately 800 people, killing five."

Joe Collins says the security forces seem to have difficulty distinguishing between separatists and the public.