18 Apr 2003

Claims of Army harrassement against Papuan students throughout Indonesian condemned by Papuan groups

10:45 am on 18 April 2003

The West Papua People's group in Vanuatu has condemned the Indonesian army or TNI for harrassing Papuan students attending universities throughout Indonesia.

The group's spokesperson, Andy Ayamiseba says members of the Papuan Students Alliance of Java are claiming in increase in the number of incidents involving harrassment and intimidation by the TNI.

They are also accusing the TNI of working with the Police to discourage pro-independence activities and rallies.

Mr Ayamiseba says this comes after the Army's Chief of Staff gave an order to quell the Papuan separatist movement.

He says the army is now targetting Papuans living in other parts of Indonesia.

"In Java every year there are a number of students being killed mysteriously. It is all the army. It is a normal practice for them. They have no respect for human rights whatsoever"

Mr Ayamiseba has also condemned the death of a Papuan that the army had in custody for for questioning over the recent raid on a military arsenal in Wamena.

He says reports from Wamena allege that the man was tortured to death by the TNI