Torture in West Papua

I am shocked.

Shocked and stunned.

Last week a video surfaced in which a West Papuan man is filmed being tortured by Indonesian soldiers.


Clearly, the man is a terrorist.

And if torturing a terrorist will save lives, who are we to judge?

It’s a question every right-thinking person has reason to ponder.

Perhaps these and other acts of (arguably) justifiable torture are necessary in order to sustain the many benefits of effective and real autonomy the people of West Papua enjoy?

Besides which:

a) 13,000 (or was it 30,000?) people die every day of not getting enough to eat and stuff (in fact, between the end of the G20 conference in Melbourne on November 19, 2006 and today, an estimated 43,170,000 children under the age of 5 will have died of preventable causes–hunger, malnutrition, disease–aka ‘poverty’);
b) if there were any problems in West Papua then Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd would surely do or have at least said something about it and;
c) the 31st, 32nd and 33rd Pacific Island Forums (2000–2002) expressed concern about violence in the area, urged the relevant parties to pursue peace, and welcomed the special laws on autonomy the Indonesian government eventually passed (see also : Rudd to examine details of Indonesian treaty, Mark Colvin, PM, November 8, 2006).

Presumably, Prime Minister Julia Gillard (and Foreign Minister Rudd?) will take the opportunity presented by the Fifth East Asia Summit later this week to broach the subject of a burning stick being applied to a man’s genitals by an illegal occupying force. With, like, ‘Indonesia’. But on the other hand, what’s a little matter of exhibiting behaviour not-quite-up-to-Australian-standards between mates? (“A former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Mr Richardson made the comments in a Senate hearing after being asked about alleged abuses of Malukan activists by Indonesia’s counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, which Australia helps fund and train.”)

Then again, maybe it’s true what they say: nothing’s as precious as a hole in the ground.

Indonesia is the largest bilateral recipient of Australian development assistance. The department worked closely with AusAID and other relevant agencies in the development of a new, five-year development partnership with Indonesia—the Australia–Indonesia Partnership (AIP) Country Strategy 2008–13. This $2.5 billion Strategy was announced by Prime Minister Rudd in Jakarta in June 2008. The Strategy builds on the Australian Government’s development priorities in Indonesia, and is directed towards reducing poverty and promoting regional peace, stability and prosperity. It will target assistance to the country’s poorest provinces, including Aceh, West Papua, Papua, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

~ DFAT Annual Report 2007–2008

See also : Editorial: Civilised Society Has No Place for Torture, Jakarta Globe, October 23, 2010 | West Papuan protests voice discontent with Indonesian rule, John Braddock,, July 20, 2010 | Arrests in Jayapura (March 24, 2010) | Treaty a real Downer for West Papua (November 12, 2006) | Where’s Wally? (March 18, 2006) | Below a Mountain of Wealth, a River of Waste, Jane Perlez and Raymond Bonner, The New York Times, December 27, 2005 | Report claims secret genocide in Indonesia, Virginia Gawler (University of Sydney), August 19, 2005.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2023 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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2 Responses to Torture in West Papua

  1. Kim Peart says:

    Dear Editor,

    Might you be interested in the suggestion for an apology being issued by the government of Australia to the people of West Papua?

    If we can bring ourselves to say “sorry” for how we have allowed them to be treated, we may also be willing to call for the vote on independence that they were cheated out of in 1969.

    Below is a story on West Papua built around this and current events.

    The story has been published in the Tasmanian Times, which is also open for comments:

    Anyone supporting this suggestion could:

    1. Leave a comment after the Tasmanian Times story,

    2. Invite a politician to read the story and act on the suggestion and

    3. Invite another person to act on 1. and 2.

    In the age of democracy, when enough people speak, action follows.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kim Peart
    Mountain Creek

  2. dale says:

    How could anyone be convinced that torture is justified. Absolutely disgusting.

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