30 Oct 2002

Activists in Papua worried by Indonesia's anti terrorist changes

6:25 pm on 30 October 2002

Pro-independence supporters in Papua fear that the Indonesian Government's new anti -terrorism law will discriminate against them, NGOs and human rights groups.

Dr John Ondawame, spokesperson for the Free Papua Movement or OPM says the anti-terrorism law will allow the Indonesian military to crackdown on such organisations.

Dr Ondawame says the bill will undermine Papua's new special autonomy status, allow a further military buildup in the province, and allow the Government to label anyone a suspected terrorist.

"We fear the implication for the movement in West Papua, particularly the members of the OPM and also the principal independence movement, the Papua Presidium, and other human rights organisations like Els-Ham, Jayapura Churches, social organisations, women, student organisations where we are the target of the Indonesia military. In the new anti-terrorist laws of Indonesia, Indonesian miltary will justify their presence in West Papua."

Dr John Ondawame for the Free Papua Movement or OPM