Moluccans call on Australia to end aid to Indonesian torturers

Activists have been jailed for displaying the Moluccan flag (pictured).

Moluccan refugees will protest against Australia’s support for the Indonesian military outside South Australian Parliament house on October 26.

The protesters say that the Indonesian military, particularly Detachment 88, which receives financial and logistical support from Australian army, has been involved in heavy repression of Moluccan independence activists.

The group claims that Detachment 88 detained and tortured 29 independence activists after the Moluccan islands flag was displayed to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2007. This was regarded as an act of rebellion.

One tortured prisoner died on September 23 because he did not receive medical attention for three years.

The Moluccans said in a media release: “We call upon the Australian government to immediately withdraw funding for Detachment 88. We understand that many millions of dollars are transferred from the Australian government to the Indonesian government for the purposes of training a counter terrorist force.

“We call upon the Australian government to use diplomatic persuasion to end the detention and torture of peaceful independence activists in the Moluccas.”

[The protest will start at 4.30pm on October 26 outside Parliament House, North Terrace, Adelaide. For more information, call Thelmy on 0431 230 676.]