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Seeking justice: Citizens tribunal on the Biak massacre

SHORTLY AFTER INDONESIA’s President Suharto was forced out of office by a popular uprising in May 1998, the people of West Papua began channeling their democratic energy in a new direction. 

Hundreds of peaceful West Papuans took to the streets in July 1998, demanding that the Indonesian government give them the opportunity to vote on the issue of independence.

On the island of Biak, demonstrators occupied the harbour area, refusing to leave until the government met their demands.

Indonesian security forces surrounded these unarmed protesters at dawn and began firing into the crowd. Scores of people were killed.

Many survivors of this initial assault were loaded on to boats, taken to open ocean and dumped overboard to drown.

Investigations by national and international human rights organisations were thwarted by Indonesian authorities. Calls for a formal inquiry by the government and relevant international bodies have been ignored.

On the fifteenth anniversary of this massacre, citizens around the world—from Asia, Melanesia, Australia, and the Americas—are uniting.

A distinguished international team of jurists has been assembled to hear eyewitness testimony from survivors and issue a formal decree.

Prima facie evidence for all of the essential facts of this case will be presented and the Indonesian government will be invited to mount a defence.

Tickets for the event, to be held this coming Saturday, are now available. Link to the website here. The password is ‘justice’.

Woolley Common Room, Level 4
John Woolley Building, University of Sydney
Ross Street Entrance on Parramatta Road
Saturday, 6 July 2013 - 10am to 5pm


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