Greens: Reports of villages razed, homes torched in West Papua

Reports of villages razed, homes torched in West Papua

Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens spokesperson for West Papua, has expressed his concern at reports of the razing of villages and forced evacuations in the Paniai region of West Papua yesterday during a campaign by Indonesian security forces against local members of the Free Papua National Liberation Army.

Though the area is not open to journalists, reports from human rights organisations suggest that Brimob paramilitary police and elite counter-terrorism troops from Detachment 88, consisting of units armed, trained, and supplied by the Australian Government, were deployed.

“It is very worrying to hear of dozens of villages being torched and helicopters dropping large numbers of Indonesian ground troops into the Paniai region,” said Senator Di Natale.

“If these reports from the region are accurate they indicate a very heavy handed military presence.

“Australia and the rest of the world is watching West Papua right now after the recent violent crackdown at the West Papua People’s Congress. This is yet another very concerning move by the Indonesian military in a region where human rights and democratic freedoms are not being upheld.”

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