“In working with Indonesian agencies you can get tension between the responsibility you think you owe to your own citizens … and the conduct of some Indonesian agencies that are not up to our standard,” he said. ”We make [the] representations we think we should and condemn human rights abuses.”
Mr. Richardson, The former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation as reported in The Age on October 19, 2010.
“We make [the] representations we think we should and condemn human rights abuses.” But we still fund them to the tune of $16.3 million dollars a year. Well Mr. Richardson, is that not hypocrisy? So it’s apparently OK to support a foreign police unit that is accused of torturing its own citizens, so long as Australia doesn’t get its hands dirty. What you are actually saying is that the human rights of Indonesian nationals are worth less than the human rights of Australians.
We all know, or at least those of us who are Indigenous Australians know, that in the eyes of Australia’s police services the human rights of black Australians are worth less than the human rights of their white counterparts. It would now appear that this racism has been exported via the Australian Federal Police to Indonesia. How does condoning the torture, even tacitly, of innocent people enhance Australia’s security?
Another video to come out of West Papua shows in agonizing detail the torture and murder of Mr. Yawan Wayeni of Matembu village, Serui, in the Indonesian province of Papua by members of the Indonesian paramilitary police (BRIMOB). The torture and murder of Mr. Wayeni happened on August 3, 2009 more than five years after the opening of the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation (JCLEC). The JCLEC was built using Australian taxpayer’s money and according to its website, most of its anti-terrorism courses are run by the Australian Federal Police.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD VIDEO (27 MB)-WARNING-EXTREMELY GRAPHIC
(Video to be embedded in this post when technical difficulties are overcome)
Mr. Wayeni was an escaped political prisoner who had been accused of burning police vehicles and buildings. At the time of his arrest, local NGO sources claim Wayeni was unarmed and not politically active. These same sources maintain that during interrogation into the whereabouts of local pro-independence guerillas (OPM/TPN), Brimob officers sliced Wayeni’s abdomen open with a bayonet, causing his death. Brimob maintains that Wayeni’s injuries came while he was resisting arrest with a homemade firearm.
Indonesia’s eastern-most province of Papua is rich in natural resources, but its people remain the poorest in the country.
For decades Papua was the scene of a low-level independence struggle, but years after the fighting ended, tens of thousands of Indonesian soldiers remain deployed in the province.
The international community can now clearly witness the indisputably harsh reality of life for Papuans. While Indonesia continues on the path of democratization and peaceful resolution of disputes, one region is sent on the opposite path: towards ongoing military domination, widespread suppression of political activity, and routine use of torture and other severe violations of basic human rights. In West Papua, the brutal and unaccountable Indonesian military and its accomplices, the militarized police (Brimob), special forces (Kopassus) and “anti-terror” force (Detachment 88) all of whom are trained at the JCLEC by the Australian Federal Police and equipped by the Australian taxpayer, continue to humiliate, torture and murder with impunity, members of the besieged and isolated communities of West Papua, while the international community is precluded from any effective monitoring of conditions in these besieged communities.
“There are no foreign authorities who can conduct any form of investigation of our officers,” Bambang told reporters at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday. “It’s impossible.”
Indonesian National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri as reported by the Jakarta Globe newspaper on September 14, 2010.
Members of Detachment 88 which incorporates Brimob within its command structure, and receives a large portion of its funding and training from the Australian Government, has been accused of torturing 12 people arrested for attempting to raise the banned South Maluku Republic (RMS) flag during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to the province on Aug. 3, 2010.
Over the course of a week, the victims were allegedly blindfolded, beaten, pierced with nails, forced to hold stress positions and forced to eat chillies. One of the men, Yonias Siahaya, has been left paralysed from the waist down, it was reported.
Bambang, in his comments cited above, was reacting to a statement from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that it had sent officials to Ambon to investigate the claims.
While Bambang has avoided answering questions about funding for Densus 88, also known as Detachment 88, he did make the following observations:
“Aid can take various forms, it can be in a form of cooperation et cetera but the point is, no foreign party can investigate my officers …”
He also stated that the problems with Detachment 88 did not extend beyond Ambon. If true, how does Bambang and the Australian Government explain what happened to Mr. Wayeni at the hands of Brimob?
All Australians should be ashamed of the way Mr. Wayeni and his fellow West Papuans are treated by Detachment 88 which is trained, funded and equipped via Australian tax dollars.
Australia’s treatment of the indigenous people of the world
Australia has a poor track record when it comes to affording even the most basic of human rights, not only to Indigenous Australians, but to the indigenous people of our near neighbours.
In an earlier post, The AFP and Australian Neo-Colonial Commercial Exploitation in Timor and the Pacific, I looked at the role Australia and the Australian Federal police played in destabilizing the democratically elected government of East Timor to further Australia’s commercial interests in and around East Timor.
I have written extensively in the past, most recently in my post Aripaea Salmon – his own words, about the role Australia and the Australian Federal Police have played in manipulating the affairs of the Solomon Islands via RAMSI.
On the issue of the Solomon Islands, it is interesting to listen to Mr. Salmon detail how the Australian Federal Police manipulated and manufactured evidence to incriminate Mr. Julian Moti, the former Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands, in child sex offences in an effort to discredit him.
What was Mr. Moti’s real crime? That of having the temerity to attempt to stand up to the Australian Government and to defend the rights of the indigenous people of the Solomon Islands against the commercial exploitation of their natural resources to further Australian Commercial interests.
Judging by the way the Australian Federal Police persue those who try and defend indigenous rights against the avarice and corruption of ‘white’ Australia, one could be forgiven for thinking that this must be one of the most serious crimes in the Commonwealth Crimes Act!
Before I leave this post, it is worth mentioning the on-going commercial exploitation of the traditional lands of Australia’s indigenous people for the sole benefit of avaricious and corrupt ‘white’ controlled multi-nationals. As in East Timor, West Papua and the Solomon Islands, the theft and exploitation of indigenous people’s natural resources are being overseen by the Australian Federal Police.
This is a disgrace! The sooner the Australian Government disbands the Australian Federal Police, the better off the world’s indigenous people will be.