Amnesty demands probe on Papua clashes

Amnesty demands probe on Papua clashes
PHOTO
ABC Radio thursday 9, 2009

Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into an earlier incident in Papua, in which Indonesian paramilitary police are alleged to have shot about nine people at a pro-independence protest.

Radio Australia’s parent organisation, the ABC, has obtained video footage said to show the police shooting in the town of Nabire.

Reporter Matt Brown says the footage shows paramilitary police armed with automatic weapons running towards the crowd.

An officer is then rushed back to a police truck with a traditional arrow sticking out of his leg. A colleague pulls it out quickly before he is bundled into the back of the vehicle.

Brown reports: “The images are focused on the police. One chuckles as he displays a grazed leg. But human rights activists say at least nine other people were hurt; several suffered critical injuries.”

Amnesty International’s Isabelle Arradon says this is not the first incident in the town and there should be an independent investigation.

“It is the third demonstration since December 2008 where some demonstrators in Nabire have been shot by police,” she said.

‘Boy injured’

“Basically the use of firearms should only be used as a last resort. It is very shocking that a 10-year-old boy was injured during the demonstration on Monday.”

Papuan human rights activist Paula Makabory says the violence was orchestrated by provocateurs employed by the Indonesian military.

Ms Makabory says many Papuans did not want to vote in the national elections.

“They say that we are not Indonesian; we are Papuan Melanesians. So we will not vote in the Indonesian public election,” she said.

Matt Brown reports that without an impartial inquiry it is hard to know what happened in Nabire.

But he says the footage clearly shows uniformed officers working with other men dressed in civilian clothes.

In the film, some of them are wearing crash helmets and another wearing military-style pants and a cut-off T-shirt brandishes an automatic rifle.

* Tags:
* indonesia
* Indonesia:Papua
* unrest-conflict-and-war

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