“It is shameful that the US has renewed its ties with Kopassus when they continue to target churchmen and civilians merely for speaking out about the suffering of their people.”
“US-backed elite Indonesian forces target church members and civilians,” from Ekklesia, December 6 (thanks to Twostellas):
A leading churchman in West Papua has called on President Obama to withdraw US cooperation with Indonesia’s elite ‘Kopassus’ forces, after finding himself on a military ‘enemies’ list. Kopassus soldiers murdered a previous ‘enemy’, Papuan leader Theys Eluay, in 2001.
The Rev Benny Giay, an outspoken defender of human rights in West Papua, has found himself on a list of ‘enemies’, which appears to have been leaked by Indonesia’s Kopassus forces. US assistance to Kopassus was renewed in July this year.
Kopassus is notorious for human rights violations in West Papua and East Timor. Giay told the indigenous rights NGO, Survival, that by renewing ties with Kopassus, “The US is supporting the policy to oppress the Papuans, to wipe us out.”
The leaked documents show Indonesia’s special forces to be targeting church leaders and unarmed civilian activists in Papua, defining them as Kopassus’s main ‘enemy’. The Indonesian military has not denied the veracity of the documents….
Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry said, “It is shameful that the US has renewed its ties with Kopassus when they continue to target churchmen and civilians merely for speaking out about the suffering of their people.”