Monday, November 8, 2010

Ed McWilliams on 'bait and switch" trial

Ed McWilliams quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP)
Former US diplomat turned Papuan rights activist Edmund McWilliams, of the West Papua Advocacy Team, said the military had murdered "tens of thousands" of Papuan civilians in four decades of Indonesian rule.
The ethnic Melanesian-majority western half of New Guinea island was incorporated into Indonesia after a 1960s vote by a select group of tribal leaders which is seen by many as a sham.
"What we have seen over decades in west Papua are killings that would approach the scale of what we saw in East Timor. Certainly tens of thousands have been killed," he said.
He said Friday's military tribunal [of soldiers accused of beating Papuan villagers] was "bogus" and accused Indonesia of "misleading the international community".
"It was a classic bait and switch," he said, adding that there was a "degree of US complicity" in the Indonesian military's human rights abuses.

Soldiers exit a military courtroom in Jayapura, Papua, on Friday. JP/Nethy Dharma Somba 

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