Tim Page, refugee abuse, Papua’s plight

A legendary Vietnam war photographer dies, Thailand's abusive migrant detention centres, fears of violence against Papuans mount.

Written By:
August 27, 2022
Tim Page, refugee abuse, Papua’s plight

Hello Globe readers,

This week, the legendary Vietnam war photographer, Tim Page, passed away at 78 years old from liver cancer. A friend of Southeast Asia Globe and foreign correspondents across the region, Page made his name in the 1960s documenting the Vietnam war from the frontlines. He was beloved for antics such as serving a cannabis-laced chicken soup incapacitating most of the international press corps before Cambodia’s 1993 elections. But his photos, sensitive to suffering and abrasive in their commitment to the truth, remain his lasting legacy, Globe writes in an obituary featuring Page’s photography. 

Carrying on that spirit, editor Caleb Quinley, exposed allegations of physical abuse against incarcerated migrants and refugees in Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre. “They would tie you up, and sometimes they took disabled people into that room, some people lost their sight, some people lost their [ability to walk],” said one detainee, recalling his experience. “The person would be normal going inside, and then they would come back as a completely different person.”

Five years after the Myanmar military massacred thousands of Rohingya muslims, the refugees have been languishing in Bangladesh refugee camps, where they live in squalid conditions. On the dark anniversary of the killings, contributor Marte Nilson, argues this moment could serve as an opportunity for the international community and Bangladesh to do more to protect Rohingya refugees and allow them to participate in society. 

While still living in their ancestral homelands, Indigenous Papuans lack rights and an equal voice in their own society, contributor Johannes Nugroho reported. Tensions are rising as Papuan leaders and researchers warn the threat of mass violence against Papuans is growing.. “Papua is Indonesia’s own time bomb, ready to go off at any moment,” one researcher said.

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