29 Aug 2002

Human rights group expresses concern about Papua killings

10:25 am on 29 August 2002

A human rights group in Papua is calling on police in the Indonesian province to start investigating a series of mysterious killings in the past month.

The group, Elsham, says there have been nine murders of ordinary Papuans since the end of July.

Elsham's John Rumbiak says there have been similar unexplained killings in other troubled provinces such as Aceh.

Mr Rumbiak says he fears it could be an attempt to create fear in the Papuan population.

Five of the bodies have been found on the island of Biak, which is the focus of a police operation against the militant separatist group, the OPM. .