September 05, 2006

INDONESIA: West Papuan protesters give the US the 'bottoms up’

Activists from the West Papua Peoples United Struggle Front (Pepera) held a protest at the US Embassy in Jakarta on August 28 calling for the defendants in the Timika shooting case in West Papua to be released.

“We suspect that the TNI was behind the shooting and the Papuan people have been victimised in order to serve the interests of the US and the TNI”, said action coordinator Rinto.

The protesters, who wore white headbands bearing messages against the US-owned Freeport mine, such as “Close Freeport” and “Freeport the number 1 imperialist”, also brought posters with messages such as “Try the TNI” and “The TNI are the masterminds of the shooting”.

Before leaving, the demonstrators turned around, bent over, and stuck their butts out at the embassy for some five minutes. “Raise your bottoms high comrades, give the US the bottoms up. The US is the number one human rights violator. The US and Bush have pressured the Indonesian government to uncover the killings at Timika”, said Rinto.

In August 2002, two US teachers and an Indonesian were killed in an ambush in Timika. Indonesian police initially said that the TNI was behind the attack, but an investigation by the FBI, which rights groups called a “white-wash”, later exonerated the military, blaming rouge elements of the Free Papua Movement instead. In January 2006, 12 people were arrested over the killings after being lured to a hotel in Timika by the FBI, who had promised they would be taken to the US to tell their side of the story.

From Green Left Weekly, September 6, 2006.


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