Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keeping it gritty

People are excited about the Obama visit? Yes they are. But our feisty friends at the Globe offer some sobering--if graphic--perspective on the challenges to the budding U.S./Indo partnership that Obama will be touting during his 24 hours in Jakarta:

But while its military has made tentative steps toward reforms, it continues to be accused of abusing citizenry in the sprawling nation’s separatist-torn regions, like Papua.

Activists are regularly given lengthy prison terms for peacefully expressing their views, organizing rallies or for simply raising pro-independence flags.

Foreign journalists, human rights workers and academics are denied access to the region, making allegations of abuse almost impossible to verify.

But increasingly videos, like that of Kiwo are surfacing online.

In August, footage emerged of another prisoner, Yawen Wayeni, lying in a jungle clearing moments after troops allegedly sliced open his abdomen with a bayonet, sending intestines tumbling from his stomach.

Using the little life he has left in him, he lifts his arm into the air, and says weakly, ``Freedom! Papua ... Freedom!’’

In both cases, the government promised to investigate.

Those investigations, by the way, remain hidden from the public.

The full story here: http://tinyurl.com/2ch5opw

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