8 Jul 2019

Call for Australia to raise Biak massacre with Jakarta

10:59 am on 8 July 2019

It's 21 years since a massacre on Biak Island in West Papua and an activist says there's yet to be any action taken against the perpetrators.

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The Papuan Morning Star flag Photo: RNZI

On the 6 July 1998 scores of Papuans, who had been holding a rally over the preceding week, were killed by members of the Indonesian armed forces.

The protestors had been flying the banned Papuan Morning Star flag.

Joe Collins, of the Australian West Papua Association, said the bodies were dumped at sea and when they later washed up on beaches Jakarta claimed they were victims of the Aitape tsunami which occurred on 17July.

Mr Collins said the oppression of the West Papuan people continues and Canberra needs to confront Jakarta about it.

"I know it is 21 years ago but the Australian government should be highlighting to Jakarta that if people aren't brought to justice for human rights abuses in the past how can they convince the West Papuan people that they have the benefit of those people at heart. It's now 56 years since Indonesia's taken over and the people are still marching in the streets."

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