INDONESIAN COPS ON FREEPORT PAYROLL IN WEST PAPUA

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Authorities admit to taking "millions" for security

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 30, 2011) – Police in Indonesia have admitted that they accepted millions of dollars from the US company Freeport Indonesia to provide security for the miner’s operations in Papua.

The national police chief General Timur Pradopo has told the Jakarta Globe that the money has been accounted for, describing the payments as lunch money.

This comes as the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence has accused the police of siding with Freeport in a strike by thousands of workers, now in its seventh week.

The group says the Timika police chief Denny Siregar called a local Freeport union leader and made a death threat.

The unionist, Haris Azhar, says police have also leveled accusations of treason at striking workers and their union organizers.

The strike has disrupted production and last week, Freeport invoked force majeure as contractual gold and copper deliveries were no longer guaranteed.

[PIR editor’s note: New Zealand’s role in training Indonesian police personnel has been placed under scrutiny in the wake of the many accusations of human rights abuses and mistreatment of protesters by police and paramilitary forces in West Papua.]

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