13 Dec 2002

Indonesian military allegedly on fresh crackdown on Papuan separatists

11:42 am on 13 December 2002

A human rights group in Papua, Elsham, says the Indonesian military has launched a major operation against separatist groups throughout the province.

Elsham's international spokesman, John Rumbiak, says the crackdown began with last weekend's arrest of dozens of OPM members in Ambora near the provincial capital, Jayapura.

He says the military operation has also caused thousands of people to flee their villages and schools have closed down.

Mr Rumbiak says Elsham is concerned at the impact the crackdown will have on the human rights of the civilian population.