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Neles Tebay, Noted West Papuan Peace Activist, Dies at 55

HeadlineApr 17, 2019

Residents of Papua are mourning the death of West Papuan peace advocate Neles Tebay, who died Sunday at the age of 55 after a battle with cancer. Tebay was the coordinator of the Papua Peace Network and a Catholic priest, who covered human rights stories and military conflict in the region for The Jakarta Post and other outlets. He was credited with helping establish a dialogue between the Indonesian government and West Papuans who have been seeking independence since the 1960s. Tens of thousands have been killed by Indonesian security forces since the 1990s. In 2017, Indonesian President Joko Widodo appointed Tebay as an adviser on Indonesia’s relationship with West Papua. Neles Tebay continued to tirelessly campaign for peace even as his cancer progressed in recent years.

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