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Indonesia: West Papua’s minority youth are being removed to Islamic religious schools in Java for “re-education”

The Muslim Issue

They’re taking our children

Date
May 4, 2013
Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard

Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media

View more articles from Michael Bachelard

West Papua’s youth are being removed to Islamic religious schools in Java for “re-education”, writes Michael Bachelard.
Captive audience … Papuan boys at the Daarur Rasul Islamic boarding school, outside Jakarta, behind locked gates.

Captive audience … Papuan boys at the Daarur Rasul Islamic boarding school, outside Jakarta, behind locked gates. Photo: Michael Bachelard

Johanes Lokobal sits on the grass that cushions the wooden floor of his little, one-room house. He warms his hands at a fire set in the centre. From time to time a pig, out of sight in an annex, squeals and slams itself thunderously against the adjoining wall.

The village of Megapura in the central highlands of Indonesia’s far-eastern province of West Papua is so remote that supplies arrive by air or by foot only. Johanes Lokobal has lived here all his life. He does not know his exact age: “Just old,”…

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