Last month, shocking photos circulated on the internet of a West Papuan man who had been shot and bayoneted on the island of Yapen in Papua. The man is seen stumbling around in a garden with his intestines in his hands before finally succumbing to his wounds and dying. It's difficult to get information about where these photos came from and the circumstances surrounding this man's death. It is alleged, however, that he was trying to save his wife from being raped by Indonesian forces when he was murdered. Matthew Jamieson from the Institute of Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights says such incidents are not uncommon, and that Indonesian security forces regularly "destroy people's gardens, they shoot people's pigs, they kick them out of their homes, burn down houses. It happens year in year out."
"One gets the sense that Indonesia is just trying to eliminate Papuans," he says.
Because of foreign media restrictions and strict visa conditions for others, there are no western journalists or activists witnessing what is going on in West Papua. As a journalist operating outside the province, it's very difficult to get reliable information from within. And sadly, by showing that it will not act even when its own citizens are murdered by the Indonesian military the murder of Australian journalist Roger East in 1975 remains to be investigated to this day successive Australian governments have made it incredibly dangerous for Australian journalists to go there clandestinely and find out what is going on for themselves.