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The Biak Massacre ­ A Citizens Tribunal 6 July 1998 ­ 6 July 2013

July 1, 2013

…seeking justice after fifteen years…

http://www.biak-tribunal.org

CITIZENS TO STAGE TRIBUNAL ON WEST PAPUA MASSACRE

Fifteen years ago, on July 6th, 1998, Indonesian security forces surrounded unarmed protesters in West Papua at dawn and began firing into the crowd. Scores were killed. Many survivors of this initial assault were loaded onto boats, brought into open ocean, and dumped overboard to drown. This Saturday, on July 6th, 2013, the University of Sydney is inviting a panel of distinguished scholars, judges, and lawyers to hear direct evidence from survivors of this attack. The Biak Tribunal will use the system of Coronal Inquest, a formal inquiry into a death. On Tuesday, July 9th, this citizens tribunal will issue formal findings about the conduct of key perpetrators and recommendations for future action.

BACKGROUND

Shortly after Indonesia’s President Suharto was forced out of office by a popular uprising in May 1998, the people of West Papua began channeling this democratic energy in a new direction. Hundreds of peaceful West Papuans took to the streets on July 1st 1998, asking for the opportunity to vote on the issue of independence. On the island of Biak demonstrators occupied the harbor, but government security forces gunned them down. “Citizens around the world are demanding justice on the fifteenth anniversary of this massacre,” said Dr. Eben Kirksey, who witnessed the attack in 1998. Over ten survivors of the Biak massacre will present testimony to the tribunal and are available for interviews.

WATCH THE TRIBUNAL

Get background and watch the proceedings live: http://www.biak-tribunal.org/
John Woolley Building, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
July 6th, 2013, 10:00am – 5:00pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time,
UTC/GMT +10 hours)

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

The Biak Citizens Tribunal will generally follow the format of a Coronial Inquest, which is a formal inquiry into a death. This inquiry will look and act much like a court. Counsel Assisting will perform a role much like the prosecution, while the Other Interested Parties will act much like defense attorneys–critically evaluating evidence and cross-examining witnesses. The tribunal will issue formal findings about the conduct of various actors and recommendations about possible future proceedings and additional avenues for investigation.

10:00 Welcome and Framing Explanation
10:05 Opening remarks by Counsel Assisting and Other Interested Parties
10:30 Calling of witnesses and tendering of documents by Counsel Assisting and Other Interested Parties

12:30 Recess for lunch

1:30 Calling of witnesses and tendering of documents by Counsel Assisting and Other Interested Parties (cont’d)

4:30 Submissions of Findings and Recommendations by Counsel Assisting and Other Interested Parties

Note: Jurists and citizens presiding over the inquiry remotely will need time to review the video footage and assess the evidence. Release of the statement of findings and recommendations will be delayed until Tuesday, July 9th.

Get background and watch the proceedings live: http://www.biak-tribunal.org/

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