6 Dec 2012

West Papuan activist says Jakarta targetting peaceful separatist group

2:42 pm on 6 December 2012

A West Papua activist says Indonesia's security forces are singling out the National Committee of West Papua, or KNPB, because of its peaceful commitment to Papuan self-determination.

In recent months, Indonesian special forces and police have arrested and, in some cases, tortured or killed a number of Papuan activists.

The Papua police chief has warned that he intends to crush the Papuan push for self-determination.

Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association says that the KNPB has proved the most effective group in terms of regularly mobilising Papuans to express their aspirations.

"And that is the basic fear of Jakarta, that the internatonal community is actually watching what's going on. And the KNPB are the ones that are actually bringing the attention. There was a Kopassus (Indonesian special forces) report released a few years ago which had a quote which says they have more to fear from peaceful rallies and demonstrations than actually from the armed resistance because the peaceful rallies are bringing the attention to what's going on."

Joe Collins