Doublespeak distorts brutal truth in West Papua

Indonesia’s foreign minister has defended his government’s policy of restricting access by foreign journalists and human rights monitors to the troubled province of Papua by saying ‘We simply want the people to have a peaceful life.’

Hassan Wirajuda told Australian journalists, ‘You should not think that if not much access is given that we are hiding something.’

The people of West Papua have been the victims of human rights atrocities at the hands of the Indonesian military and police for 45 years. They are denied the right to protest against this brutality, and those who stand up for their rights are regularly tortured and killed.

Conservative estimates put the total number of Papuans killed by Indonesian soldiers since 1963 at 100,000.