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Papuan Independence Fighters Hold New Zealand Pilot Hostage, Demand Freedom from Indonesia

HeadlineFeb 15, 2023

Independence fighters in the Indonesian region of Papua have taken a pilot from New Zealand hostage after he landed his plane on a remote airstrip. Members of the West Papua National Liberation Army have vowed to hold the pilot, Philip Mehrtens, until the Indonesian government acknowledges Papuan independence. The liberation group released photos of the pilot along with a brief video statement from one of the group’s commanders.

Egianus Kogoya: “We will not release without the freedom of Papua, and we will keep detaining the pilot. So the whole country of Indonesia should open their eyes and acknowledge the freedom of Papua.”

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