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 March 16 Protest at Indonesian Embassy in Washington

Several score demonstrators rallied at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. March 16 to protest against the continued incarceration of Papuan prisoners of conscience Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, in Indonesian custody since December 2004.

The demonstration, organized by Amnesty International, and supported by the West Papua Advocacy Team at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights Center and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) continued for over an hour on busy Massachusetts Avenue at rush hour.

A speaker from the West Papua Advocacy Team provided historical context for the concern about prisoners of conscience Karma and Pakage, incarcerated for peaceful protest and flag raising ceremony. He noted that since the 1960's tens of thousands of civilians have died as result of Indonesian military attacks and the Indonesian governments failure to provide essential medical and other services. The speaker also described ongoing violence in Jayapura around protests regarding the practices of the U.S. mining firm Freeport-McMoRan and broader calls for a withdrawal of military troops from West Papua. The speaker also noted that notwithstanding ongoing abuses by the Indonesian military which remains unaccountable for decades of human rights abuse, the U.S. Government recently decided to resume long-restricted assistance to that unreformed military.

U.S.-Indonesia Military Assistance page





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