Dusk over Biak sea/Kids swimming

Singing

 

00.00

 

Williams:  The languid shores of Biak are as close to paradise as you can get.

 

01.14

B&W footage of troops

FX:  Gun shots

 

00.19

 

Williams:  But a few months ago, the peace here was shattered by acts of unbelievable savagery.

 

00.23

 

FX:  Gun shots

 

00.29

 

Eduard:  Women were told to strip and forced to crawl... then soldiers raped them.

 

00.34

Eduard

There was an old lady saying her prayers and the soldier kicked her and said "Stop pretending - it's useless to say your prayers... you'll get killed anyway."

 

00.40

Sea at Biak

Singing

 

 

00.52

B&W footage of troops

Williams:  On July the sixth last year Indonesian troops launched an orgy of slaughter here in a bid to crush West Papuan demands for freedom.

 

00.58

Williams with Paulus

Paulus:  People shouted "arghh" as they were shot...others kept singing together.  Some lay on the ground but the ones in front screamed as they got shot.

 

01.10

 

 

 

Sunset at Biak/Map of Irian Jaya

Tribal singing

 

01.20

Interior church service

Church singing

 

01.37

 

Williams:  Sunday morning in Biak's evangelical church, and the Reverend Solomon Sawor has a full house. But six months ago, his congregation was one hundred stronger.

01.48

 

Last July, West Papuans of Biak put their faith in God and publicly called for independence from Indonesia.

 

02.00

 

Church singing

 

01.01

Reverend

Reverend:  They said they were ready to take any risk - whatever happened.  They knew the dangers but they refused to leave.

 

02.14

Biak water tower

Music

 

02.23

 

Williams:  Biak's water tower is an unlikely symbol of freedom.

02.30

 

But it was here people raised the flag of a free West Papua and demonstrated peacefully for their own state.

02.35

 

These fleeting images, caught by an Australian couple just hours before troops moved in.

 

02.45

 

Williams:  Even though they knew that it might cost them their lives. Yeah. You said that to them?

 

02.55

Interview with Reverend

Reverend:  Yeah.

 

03.01

 

Williams:  You said the army's going to attack... And they refused to leave.

 

03.02

 

Reverend:  They refused to leave.

 

03.06

 

Williams:  What exactly did they want?

 

03.07

 

Reverend:  They wanted people from outside as mediators. It's a dream they had... I think they expected someone from outside to help.

 

03.11

 

Williams:  To help?

 

03.28

 

Reverend:  To help them.

 

03.29

Bullet holes in wall

Williams:  But there was no help, no mediator, only bullets. At dawn on the sixth day of the protest,

03.32

Evan to camera

 

Super:

 

EVAN WILLIAMS

hundreds of troops moved in here from all directions. Far from being asleep, the protestors had linked arms and were five deep around the water tower they declared birthplace of a new free Papua.

03.40

 

To strengthen their resolve as the troops moved in with guns blazing, the protestors were singing a Christian hymn.

 

03.51

Water tower/flag

Paulus [singing]:  Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war

With the Cross of Jesus you will win.

Victory is our aim, so don't surrender.

Forward into battle, see his banners go.

Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war

04.00

Paulus singing/ with Evan

Follow the Cross of Jesus and you will win.

 

04.15

 

Williams:  Paulus Rumbiak was one of the few protestors lucky enough not to be shot. He was forced to throw the wounded into trucks full of bodies.

04.25

 

Then he saw troops fire on houses and crash through doors, forcing all native Papuans on to the street.

 

04.34

 

Paulus:  They beat them with wood and kicked them and hit them here.  Old people were beaten until their heads cracked and then the soldiers shot people outside, brought them in from the street, and still beat them.

 

04.44

Dockland b/w

Williams:  A thousand men and children were marched to this dock, interrogated, and tortured.

 

05.07

 

Music

 

05.13

Paulus

Paulus:  They forced them to lie down and then kicked and stamped on them until some fainted. They don't have any feelings - just beat them without knowing who's right or wrong.  They also shot a lot of people as they ran to the beach. They just shot so many of them.

 

05.18

Biak beach

Williams:  Tides have washed away the blood, but the psychological scars remain.

05.48

Eduard on beach

Twelve year old Eduard saw his best friend shot dead and was then among dozens forced on to two navy ships. He jumped and swam ashore only to be re-arrested. The government says only one died in the incident. Why then does an innocent 12 year old talk of so many dead?

 

05.57

Eduard

Eduard:  They opened a huge canvas filled with sand - and said "Do you want to go in there?" I looked down and saw the bodies of women, old ladies and children - lots of them... I told the soldier "No, please, I want to go to school now." So he put me in a cell.

 

06.17

Navy ship in harbour

Music

 

06.40

 

Williams:  Some bodies, with broken arms and bound hands were later washed up. But most of those taken on the ships were never seen again. Up to 150 people were murdered in the crackdown.

 

06.45

Photos of prisoners

Seen here in pictures smuggled out from Biak jail, protest organiser Philip Karma denies charges of rebellion, insisting it was simply a spontaneous gathering of Papuans who all demand freedom. He and 19 others now face 20 years prison for sedition. And they're not alone.

 

07.01

Rumbiak and Evan with photos

Rumbiak:  When they look at the fuzzy hair and black people walking around, they just kill them. Just like that...

 

07.21

 

Williams:  Cataloguing Jakarta's cruelty is Irian Jaya's leading human rights investigator. Dead highlanders and torture victims the daily cost of Indonesia's occupation. But Biak's history as the birthplace of Papuan nationalism drew a new level of state terror. Kill it here they thought and you kill it everywhere.

 

07.30

Rumbiak

Rumbiak:  What happened in Biak is truly a systematic process of the Indonesian military to really wipe out the genuine feeling for freedom in a way that once they wipe it out they control it and it will not grow again to move around and influence other parts of West Papua. And people don't want these things to happen to them any more. They will organise themselves, demonstrate everywhere in West Papua the next year.

 

07.50

Archive footage, Papuans raising flag

Military music

 

08.26

 

Williams:  The first time West Papuans raised their national flag, it was with the blessing of their Dutch colonial masters. Raising the same flag today gets you shot.

 

03.30

 

Indonesia's claim on Irian Jaya only goes back to the sixties, when the retreating Dutch tried keeping it as a last outpost of empire. Jakarta insisted it was part of Indonesia, and after a short, undeclared war, the Dutch left, securing a pledge the Papuans could determine their own future. It was a promise Jakarta had no intention of keeping.

 

03.42

Newsreel footage of Permenas Awom

Newsreel:  The army says it will post some 6,000 troops into the coming offensive. But the rebels are holding out in some of the world's most rugged terrain.

 

09.08

 

Williams:  After agreeing to talks, the first OPM guerilla leader, Permenas Awom, was taken away and killed, starting years of assassination and clearing the way for a rigged ballot for integration with Indonesia.

 

09.21

View from plane/Evan in plane with petrol

FX:  Plane

 

09.36

 

Williams:  To understand why Indonesia is so determined to keep Irian Jaya, you have to travel deep into the rugged interior. Even if riding with a few thousand litres of petrol makes it a non-smoking flight.

 

09.41

Map/View from plane

Singing

 

09.53

 

Williams:  Irian Jaya's mountains are quite literally a gold mine of minerals. Indonesia's third biggest source of revenue. An asset all the more important in today's economic crisis.

 

09.57

View of transmigration camp

Rich valleys are also carved up for vast colonies of resettled Javanese, brought here under Jakarta's controversial transmigration scheme.

 

10.11

Villagers greeting

Singing

 

10.20

 

Williams:  A traditional dance welcoming strangers among the highland Dani people.

 

10.36

 

Singing

 

10.40

 

Williams:  While they seem happy enough with 50,000 years of their own culture, like the Christian missionaries before them, the Indonesians say they're here to civilise a stone age race.

 

10.52

 

Singing

 

11.03

 

Williams:  But for these people, the Indonesians have brought nothing but misery.

 

11.12

 

Singing

 

11.16

 

Williams:  When not dancing for tourist dollars, village chief, Weyak Mavil is looking after his people.

 

11.22

Evan with Weyak

Williams:  Australia.

 

Weyak:  Australia is here. [laughs]

 

11.28

 

11.30

 

Williams:  But for people so tied to their land, being part of Indonesia is no laughing matter.

 

11.38

Weyak

Weyak:  The Indonesians are coming here taking land but they don't do anything for us people.  It's all for them - they take more and more land but it's only for themselves.  It's not for the local people.  All we have is these penis gourds and I have a shirt like yours, but it's dirty.

 

11.45

Evan and Weyak

Williams:  Whatever Weyak thinks of Indonesians, he had better get used to them.

 

12.07

Evan and surveyors with maps

Williams:  So from Jayapura...

 

12.12

 

Williams:  Just 30 minutes drive from Weyak's village a new invasion is being drawn up. Filmed secretly at their hotel, surveyors for Indonesia's transmigration program finalise plans to move another 500,000 Javanese into these valleys in the next 20 years.

 

12.16

 

Surveyor:  And here, out of this road, Mamberambo, a big city... and here, the next big city... So we want one, two, three, four, five, six big cities.

 

12.34

 

Williams:  You hope. Some local people say okay, Javanese people come and we can make the new development. But I don't get the job. The Javanese get the job.

 

12.50

 

Surveyor:  Education is still low here and from Java it's higher. Usually people with a higher education win.

 

13.02

Students singing

Music

 

13.15

 

Williams:  But even when they play by Jakarta's rules, Papuans rarely win.

 

13.22

 

Music/Singing:

For the loyalty to my land,

For the love of my land

I left home,

I left the ones I love.

 

13.27

 

Williams:  A still banned song of Papuan freedom. If Jakarta was winning any hearts and minds here, it would be these of the young Papuan elite.

 

13.45

 

Song:

I left my mum and dad -

I left everything I have to fight for my country.

I live in exile.

 

13.54

 

Williams:  But instead of embracing Indonesians ways these students use a university party to reinforce their Papuan identity.

 

14.14

Student

Student:  We never want to be part of Indonesia.  Thirty-five years of bad experiences as citizens made us dislike being part of this country.  Definitely we want to be separated from Indonesia.

 

14.24

 

Williams:  It's no wonder. These students are from Biak, the victims of July's massacre were their friends and relatives.

 

14.43

Student

Student:  As a Biak person, I will never give up thinking for a free Papua because we want to stand on our own.

 

14.53

Woman Student

Woman Student:  As Biak people we feel very intimidated and for me, the rape and killing on Biak was a barbaric act.  They say they want to bring us together but by their action  they're the ones who are forcing us apart.

 

15.03

Evan in car

Williams:  Brave words that are becoming more common in towns and villages, but can still land people in prison.

 

15.36

 

Williams:  What are these? These are police? Or soldiers?

 

15.44

 

Williams:  After a day of meeting opposition leaders Indonesian intelligence was tipped off and started questioning those we'd seen.

 

15.48

 

Williams:  Keep the camera down for a second, mate.

 

15.57

 

Williams:  That meant having the right contacts, especially to meet the man pivotal to what happens next in Irian Jaya.

 

16.00

 

Williams:  The man we're going to see, what sort of restrictions is he under.

 

16.08

 

Rumbiak:  He's under house arrest.

 

16.13

 

Williams:  Under house arrest. And why is that?

 

16.15

 

Rumbiak:  He is accused of... by the military and by the police... involved in the demonstration of first of July.

 

16.18

 

Williams:  To meet him I'm taken to a safe house on the city's outskirts.

 

16.36

 

Williams:  Hello sir. Nice to meet you.

 

16.45

 

Williams:  If ever there is a free Papua, Theys Eluway would probably be its president. As the most powerful tribal chief, Theys 30 years ago, voted for integration with Indonesia. Today, he says, Indonesian rule means nothing more than stealing Papuan rights.

 

16.51

Theys

Theys:  Why are we killed by our own nation in such a barbaric way? I will never understand this country.  That's why we have to be apart from Indonesia and stand alone.  Politically speaking, what they did in Biak shows that they themselves don't want us to be Indonesian citizens.

 

17.10

 

Williams:  Again, many people from the outside would say it looks very hard, if not impossible, for Irian Jaya to become free West Papua. What makes you believe, or what's going to make that happen?

 

17.35

 

Theys:   We have to talk openly to the Indonesian government - not to ask, but to tell them that after thirty-five years of Indonesian rule independence is our right.

 

17.47

Evan to camera

Williams:  So having, it seems, learnt nothing from East Timor, the army's use of deadly force here on Biak on July the sixth created the Dili massacre of Irian Jaya. And just as Dili did with the East Timorese, so Biak has only hardened the resolve for change among most Papuans.

 

17.58

Church

Church singing

 

18.16

 

Williams:  After 35 years of sitting on the fence, too scared to speak out, Irian Jaya's biggest church has had enough. For the first time, the head of the church publicly calls for independence.

 

13.25

Rev. Saud

 

Super:

Reverend HERMAN SAUD

Chairman, Evangelical Church

Rev. Saud:  Indonesia's policy has been a systematic process to wipe out the Irian people.

 

18.41

 

Williams:  The Indonesians say that they bring development to Irian Jaya. Isn't that true, isn't that the case?

 

19.02

 

Rev. Saud:  Especially in Suharto's terms, the word ‘development' means killings and torture... and a lot more.  There's never been real development. Men and women now express their frustration  by saying there's no point in having more babies because everything in our land is taken away.

 

19.08

Nela with children

Child crying

19.41

 

Nela:  He wakes up and calls for his dad.  He misses his father - that's why he's sick... He wakes up and calls for his dad.

 

19.45

 

Williams:  Four year old Saul can't have a little brother or sister anyway. His father is dead. His mother, Nela, the widow of the only man the government admits died in the Biak massacre. Like thousands of other Papuans, personal loss has inflamed nationalist passions.

 

19.53

Nela

Nela:  Just tell Indonesia their father is the victim of raising the ‘Free Papua' flag.  And I pray the Papuan flag will stay - it will stay.  I say that even if they're going to shoot me I say that it stands - the freedom of West Papua. Indonesia is already responsible for their father's blood - so freedom is a must.  We are already suffering enough.  My prayer is that someone from outside will come and help us.  Now all we can do is rely on prayer.

20.15

CREDITS

Reporter              EVAN WILLIAMS

Camera            BENTLEY DEAN

Editor               STUART MILLER

Research                 HENRY RUMBEWAS

© 2019 Journeyman Pictures
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