Wiranto and the Biak massacre
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Wiranto with Jokowi July 2016  
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Wiranto and the Biak Massacre

Wiranto was armed forces commander and minister of defence during the July 6, 1998 Biak Massacre in West Papua. When asked about the massacre, he said that “If there is a power that raises a flag, and it is not the Red and White flag [of Indonesia], then this is a betrayal of the military and of the entire nation. This constitutes a betrayal and this is what we must stop!” (Suara Pembaruan Daily, 7 July 1998, punctuation in original, quoted from here: http://www.biak-tribunal.org/verdict-announced).

About the Biak Massacre

Water tower in Biak  
The water tower on Kota Biak. From Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal  
On July 6, 1998, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators gathered on a prominent hill in the town of Biak were deliberately attacked by members of the Indonesian military and police. At the beginning of the month, the Papuans had peacefully raised the Morning Star flag. The Papuans in Biak were asserting their right to self-determination after more than three decades of Indonesian military occupation of West Papua. The slaughter began with a dawn raid on a peaceful encampment by the town's water tower as many of the protesters slept or prayed. After the shooting stopped, the dead, dying, and wounded were loaded onto trucks and driven to the nearby naval base. Surviving Papuans were tortured and then loaded aboard Indonesian naval vessels and dumped into the ocean. Women were raped aboard the ships. Many of the victims had their hands bound or were stabbed before being thrown into the sea. Bodies of the victims washed up on Biak's shores during the following weeks. Approximately 200 Papuans, including children, were killed.

At the time, the new, nominally democratic government of Indonesia disingenuously denied the massacre had taken place, contending the bodies washing ashore were victims of a tsunami that had struck Papua New Guinea more than hundreds of miles to the east.

"This constitutes a betrayal and this is what we must stop!ersal respect to human rights." -Wiranto.

Filep Karma had led the pro-independence demonstration in Biak. For several days the flag was on display. Then on July 6, the Indonesian military attacked and Karma was shot in both legs while he was praying at the scene Karma was sentenced by the Indonesian court to 6 years in prison. However, two years later he was released when Gus Dur became president in 2000. Karma was again arrested in 2004 at a flag-raising in Abepura. He was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison for 'treason.' He was released from prison late last year.

see more

ETAN/WPAT: Groups Urge Justice on 15th Anniversary of Biak (West Papua) Massacre (July 6, 2013)

Recalling the 1998 Massacre in Biak by Edmund McWilliams (July 2013)

A Bloody Anniversary (July 2008)

Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal

see also

Human Rights & Justice page

ETAN, Tapol, Watch Indonesia!: Appointment of General  Wiranto as Minister confirms the deep-rooted impunity in Indonesia/Pengangkatan Jenderal (Purn) Wiranto sebagai Menteri  mengukuhkan adanya impunitas berurat-akar di Indonesia

Timorese Civil Society Question Appointment of Wiranto as New Indonesian Minister (July 29)

LBH Jakarta: Pers Rilis: 1454/SK-Rilis-MKR/2016 -5 Alasan Menolak Wiranto menjadi Menko Polhukam (
July 27, 2016)

A Timorese View: Time to End Impunity for Suharto's Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste (June 2016)
Tetum: Agora mak tempu atu hapara impunidade ba krime sira Suharto nian iha Indonesia no Timor-Leste
Indonesian: Sekarang Saatnya Memutus Impunitas untuk Kejahatan Soeharto di Indonesia dan Timor-Leste

ETAN: ELECTION BACKGROUNDER - Indonesia’s Militarized Democracy: Candidates bring proven records of violating human rights (March 2014)

ETAN: Rights Group Says Wiranto Must Stand Trial, Not Stand for Office (April 21, 2004)

ETAN: UN Must Back Prosecution of Indonesian Officers; International Action Needed After Indonesia Snubs Extradition of Suspects to East Timor (March 4, 2003)

SCU: Info Release on Crimes Against Humanity Charges (February 25, 2003)


ETAN is "A voice of reason, criticizing the administration's reluctance to address ongoing human rights violations and escalating oppression in West Papua and against religious minorities throughout Indonesia."

Noam Chomsky

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