Rainforest Warriors


This is an excellent and rare TV documentary about West Papua. A year on from its original UK screening it still has not been broadcast in any other country.

In 2006 reporter Evan Williams gained access, on a tourist visa, to West Papua - a country to which journalists and foreign observers are flatly refused entry by the Indonesian government. After three weeks dodging Indonesian officials and police to gather interviews and information, he filed this report for Channel 4's "Unreported World" series.

• We meet a group of tribal elders, some of whom have travelled for days, who congregate especially to tell the world media about widespread incidents of Indonesian killing and brutality in their native villages.

• The pretext for Evan Williams' visit to West Papua is the Wamena Festival, at which the local governor's speech proclaims Indonesia as "the ultimate in diversity". But for the locals, overrun by Indonesian oppression and largely outnumbered by subsidised Indonesian immigrants, is it diversity or occupation?

• Williams meets a man whose parents and friends were killed by the Indonesians and who has been fleeing the army, hiding out, for five years. He is led to a village in which the locals are mourning the deaths of relatives killed or missing since the March 2006 protests.

Channel 4
Original broadcast - October 20 2006



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