4 Sep 2002

Presidium head calls for international inquiry in Papua killings

5:38 pm on 4 September 2002

The Secretary General of the Papua Presidium Council has called for an international inquiry into the killing of two American teachers and an Indonesian near the Freeport mine on Saturday.

Indonesia has claimed that members of the separatist OPM are responsible and has been searching the fog-bound mountainous Timika district for them for the past three days.

Other independence groups, and NGOs have rejected that claim, and instead have implicated the army, the TNI, in the killings.

But the secretary general of the Presidium, Thaha Mohammad Al Hamid, has told the media today in New York that people need to refrain from accusing the police, the Army, or anybody until the result of an international investigation is known.

He says the Presidium does not want to speculate until a complete investigation is finished, but he says the People of Papua no longer believe in investigation by the police of Indonesia.

Mr Al Hamid says the U.S. should take part in this investigation as it involved US citizens, and he says the Presidium is is urging the US not to give an military assistance to Indonesia until that inquiry is completed.