Jul 31, 2014

‘No future for me in West Papua’: activist flees to Australia after ‘abduction’ attempt

A West Papuan activist has fled to Australia in fear for her safety after giving testimony to an Australian tribunal into the 1998 Biak massacre by Indonesian forces.

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter

West Papuan independence activist Tineke Rumkabu has fled to Australia, claiming that Indonesian forces attempted to abduct her earlier this month. Rumkabu is a survivor of the Biak massacre, when scores of West Papuans were murdered and tortured by Indonesian police and military officers in 1998.

Rumkabu says the abduction attempt was made after she participated in a remembrance service on the 16th anniversary of the massacre in Jayapura. The next day, she told Crikey, she was approached in the nearby town of Wamena by three cars, which she alleges held members of Indonesia’s military. She says she was approached by two men, one of whom tried to pull her hands behind her back and punched her in the stomach. She says she picked up a large stone and threw it at her attackers. Although she missed, they retreated.

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2 thoughts on “‘No future for me in West Papua’: activist flees to Australia after ‘abduction’ attempt

  1. klewso

    The way all our governments of each persuasion have treated West Papua, appeasing Indonesia, is a national disgrace and a blight on any declaration of our “regard for human rights”.
    It’s as though “we” render these people second class humans for the sake of the politics involved – they might just as well be slaves.

  2. daeron

    Tineke needs political asylum, and Australia has an obligation to provide that protection. Canberra authorised the UN and Indonesian occupations when it supported General Assembly resolution 1752, so we owe whatever protection we can offer to the victims of those occupations.

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