West Papuan protesters give the US the ‘bottoms up’

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Detik.com – August 28, 2006
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West Papuans protest in Jakarta (Tempo)
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West Papuans protest in Jakarta (Tempo)
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Arfi Bambani Amri, Jakarta – Around 50 people from the West Papua Peoples United Struggle Front (Pepera) demonstrated in front of the US Embassy on Monday August 28 calling for the defendants in the Timika shooting case to be unconditionally released.

The protesters said that the arrest of the seven defendants who have been charged with the shooting of two US citizens and an Indonesian national in Timika in 2002 is a conspiracy designed to serve the interests of the United States.

The seven defendants are Hardi Sugumol, Agustinus Anggaibak, Yohanes Kasemol, Yulianus Deikme, Yairus Kiwak, Reverend Isak Onawame and Antonius Wamang. The case is currently being heard by the Central Jakarta District Court.

“We suspect that the TNI [Indonesian military] was behind the shooting and the Papuan people have been made the victims in order to serve the interests of the US and the TNI,” said action coordinator Rinto.

The protesters, who wore white headbands with the writing “Close Freeport” and “Freeport the Number 1 imperialist”, also brought a number of posters with messages such as “Release Reverend Isak Onawame unconditionally”, “Try the TNI”, “Close Freeport”, and “The TNI are the masterminds of the shooting”.

Before leaving the embassy at around 10.50am, the protesters turned around, bent over, and stuck their butts out at the embassy for some five minutes.

“Raise your bottoms high comrades, give America the bottoms up. America is the Number One human rights violator. America and Bush have pressured the Indonesian government to uncover the killings at Timika Mile 62-63”, said Rinto. The government is weak and is scapegoating the Papuan people he added, “Once again give the bottoms up to the US”, he shouted.

The protester then moved off in the direction of the State Palace on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara singing Papuan songs accompanied by the strumming of guitars.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski compiled from two articles posted on the Detik.com news portal on August 28.]

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski compiled from two articles posted on the Detik.com news portal on August 28.]

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