Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tell Obama to support West Papua #humanrights

Sign our petition

Tell Obama to support Papua Human Rights

On October 26, 2015, President Obama will meet with Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Beginning in May 1963, West Papua was occupied by Indonesia with U.S. government support and encouragement. By 1969, Indonesia had annexed the territory. Over the course of five decades, West Papuans have suffered mass killings, torture, rape, and the loss of their culture and lands. U.S. corporations like the mining giant Freeport McMoRan have devastated the environment. At least 100,000 Papuans are estimated to have died as a result of Indonesian rule. In addition, the region has been so inundated with migrants that indigenous Papuans are no longer a majority in their own land.
The U.S. continues to arm and train the security forces that repress the West Papuan people. The Indonesian government's attempts to conceal the truth about West Papua include banning foreign journalists and UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights from visiting the territory. While President Widodo has announced several positive initiatives, elements in his government, including the security forces, are resisting change and the human rights violations continue.
The West Papuans continue to resist Indonesian rule. Groups supporting self-determination recently came together in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a broad coalition to press their case within West Papua and internationally.
Restrictions on security assistance from the United States were important in Timor-Leste (East Timor) gaining their independence from Indonesia. The U.S. should again restrict training and weapons to Indonesia in support of the rights of West Papuans.
This is a petition of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network For more information on West Papua, read the monthly West Papua Report, published by the West Papua Advocacy Team and ETAN.

Friday, September 18, 2015

new on ETAN's website: Watching The Look of Silence in Dili

On August 22, 2015, the first public screening of Joshua Oppenheimer's filmThe Look of Silence drew around 60 people to the Asosiasaun HAK human rights office in Dili. The documentary probes the impact of the 1965/66 mass killings that brought the dictator Suharto to power in Indonesia and the impunity which continues to prevail for these and others crimes by Indonesian security forces.

read the rest here

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Read the September 2015 West Papua Report

September 2015 West Papua Report is available here.


This edition's Perspective provides background on the widely-respected West Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma.

In the "Update" section, the prospects for President Joko Widodo to fulfill his promise to release political prisoner releases. 
General Hartomo who was convicted for his part in the killing of Papuan leader Theys Eluay has been promoted. Indonesian military personnel killed two and wounded more in Timika. Religious leaders and the Indonesian Human Rights Commission are among those demanding justice. Papuans Behind Bars reports on growing threats to human rights defenders in Wamena. A proposal by senior Widodo administration officials to tighten restrictions on journalists was aborted, but policy regarding journalist freedoms remains unclear notwithstanding a May pledge by President Widodo to loosen restrictions. Vanuatu reiterates support for West Papua as the Pacific Islands Forum prepares to meet. Jakarta has admitted inadequate support for air traffic in West Papua, in the wake of a costly air crash there.

In Chronicle the report highlights to a commentary by Pastor Neles Tebay who underscores the importance of communications among Papuans in addressing issues confronting Papuans. The leader of the Muslim community in Tolikara has emphasized the role of customary law in addressing the violence in that community in July. An excerpt from a forthcoming book describes the West Papuan campaign for MSG membership.

Mourners accompany the bodies of Yulianus Okoare and Herman Mairimau, victims of a recent
 shooting by members of the military to the cemetery Photo: Antara/Husyen Abdillah

Friday, August 14, 2015

The New York Agreement

The October 2012 issue of the West Papua Report had a perspective article on the 50th anniversary of the August 15 signing of the "New York Agreement," a watershed agreement, undertaken without Papuan participation, which sealed the Papuan people's fate as subject to annexation by Indonesia. Read the article here.

apuans protest at U.S. embassy in Jakarta, August 15, on 50th anniversary of signing New York Agreement.
Papuans protest at U.S. embassy in Jakarta, August 15,2012 on 50th anniversary of signing New York Agreement. Photo from UCANews.

An excerpt: "The New York Agreement made provision for the Papuans to vote for an independent future or to stay under Indonesian rule. The provision for the Papuans to vote was a crucial aspect of negotiations in the agreement which stipulated the vote should be "the freely expressed will of the population", but it was not. Leading up to the "Act of Free Choice" in 1969, many prominent Papuans were arrested and killed in the process of "culling", and this policy remains unchanged even today."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Now out - April 2015 West Papua Report

Now out - April 2015 West Papua Report
Read report here

This edition's PERSPECTIVE provides a detailed overview of the Tolikara incident in which security force fired on a demonstration by Christian Papuans killed one and injured 11 others. The demonstrators then attacked a Muslim community, burning kiosks and a mosque. Years of government "transmigration" policies and neglect of Papuans have left West Papua a powder keg. Despite this, the local Tolikara community has come together to resolve tensions.In UPDATEPressure is growing on the Indonesian government to credibly investigate the December 14, 2014 murder of four West Papuans by security forces. The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham) "Ad Hoc Investigation" has made little headway and competing security force investigations appear aimed at pressuring victim families to abandon efforts to force accountability. Negotiations between the Indonesian government and mining giant Freeport McMoRan have led to a six month extension of its license. Talks to renew its contract have not yet gotten underway and are essential if Freeport operations are to continue past 2021. There are growing calls to reduce security forces in West Papua.
In CHRONICLEDemographic trends in West Papua which have seen the reduction of Papuans to the status of a minority in their own land. Renowned human rights campaigner Carmel Budiardjo calls into question the United Kingdom's cooperation with the Indonesian government. AWest Papua "embassy" was temporarily set up in Darwin. The Pacific Islands Forum was urged to put West Papua on its agenda.


Grasburg Mine in West Papua