Papuan activist escapes attempted abduction

Petition prompted by news of West Papuan arrests at 2016 peaceful demonstrations ... rejected by New Zealand government. Image: ABC

A Papuan activist has escaped an attempted abduction by men who claimed to police officers at his his home in Sorong, West Papua.

Agustinus Aud, the spokesperson of the Sorong West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) has stated that around 3am on September 24, at least 10 men dressed in plain clothing surrounded his house.

Activist Agustinus Aud has raised concern and spoken out against the many human rights violations committed by the security forces in Papua. Image: ABC

The men whose faces were covered in scarves banged on the windows and doors of Aud’s home and shouted orders for him to come out.

When the men had smashed his window, Aud saw that two of the men were armed with rifles and refused to come out.

He managed to make a phone call to his friends asking them to immediately come to his house.

Aud thought he would be abducted and later killed by the men, as happened to Martinus Yohame, another KNPB Sorong member, in August 2014.

At 4am, six of Aud’s friends arrived at his house and saw that there were at least 10 men with guns and rifles with a minibus and three motorcycles. As soon as they arrived, the men left.

In the last few months, Aud had organised many press conferences and peaceful demonstrations to support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) to be accepted as a full member of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)

Amnesty International has stated the attempt to abduct Aud highlights the unsafe environment faced by political activists in the Indonesian province of Papua and the ongoing impunity for human rights violations by security forces.

The NGO has launched an urgent appeal for action to ensure Agustinus Aud’s safety.

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  1. He escaped to one of these Indon death squads that terrorize West Papuans. Indonesia regularly commits atrocities in West Papua. Abduction, torture and assassination of activists, journalists, politicians has been going on for decades and no-one has ever been tried and punished in proportion to the gravity of these crimes. Instead, some of the killers have been glorified as heroes of the Indon nation by the current Indon minister of Defense.

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