20 Mar 2003

Papuans demand human rights court trial for alleged Eluay killers

5:45 pm on 20 March 2003

The Papua Presidium Council has demanded that the Indonesian soldiers being court-martialled on charges of killing the separatist leader, Theys Eluay, be tried in a human rights court.

The Council's secretary-general, Thaha Mohammad Al-Hamid, says the murder of Chief Eluay in November 2001 should be classified as a gross human rights violation because it involved the state apparatus.

Mr Al-Hamid says it is important for the motive for the assassination to be established and to determine who ordered the killing.

He says a human rights court trial is necessary if the Indonesian government wants to restore its tarnished image among Papuans.

A government-sanctioned inquiry concluded that no human rights abuses had occurred.