Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Balibo – The Truth Is Finally Out

A controversial film about the 1975 murders of a Kiwi cameraman and his four Aussie colleagues starts screening in NZ this week.
Balibo tells the fate of Gary Cunningham - the only Kiwi cameraman filming the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor - and four Australian journalists (Greg Shackleton, Tony Stewart, Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie).
The Balibo FiveFor 30 years, the official line was that the Balibo Five were killed in crossfire (a version happily accepted by successive Oz governments)... but the movie shows them killed by Indonesian troops, a view now confirmed by an eyewitness. The film was screened illegally in Indonesia where it's been banned: a former Indonesian army officer, having a crisis of conscience after seeing it, said Indonesian troops were responsible for murdering the journalists.
And East Timor's President Jose Ramos Horta claims the men were not only shot by the military but tortured beforehand. Mr Ramos Horta, a rebel commander at the time, is a central figure in the film. He says the journalists were "brutally tortured" and their bodies burnt to dispose of the evidence.
From the movie, the Five run for their lives
In the movie, the Five run for their lives
After the movie's Oz release, federal police announced a war crimes investigation. The NZ Government has never made any effort to discover the truth of the Balibo Five. See the movie – then perhaps ask your local MP why the hell our country has ignored this.

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