Six killed in Freeport mine protests

Two Papuans, three police and an army intelligence officer were killed on the 16th March in Papua in protests demanding the closure of the giant Freeport gold and copper mine. The protests took place outside a university in the Papuan capital, Jayapura.

The mine is the largest gold and copper mine in the world, and is run by the American company Freeport McMoRan. It has devastated the land of the highland Amungme tribe, destroying their sacred mountains. Many Amungme have been killed by Indonesian soldiers ‘defending' the mine. The lowland Kamoro tribe have thousands of tonnes of mining waste pumped into their rivers every day.

The area around the mine is one of the most militarised areas in Indonesia, and killings, tortures and disappearances have taken place there. Local people believe the mine's own security personnel have been involved in these human rights abuses.