Thursday, July 16, 2015

Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime


Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime
Take Action on U.S. Support for Mass Violence and Genocide in Indonesia

The Look of Silence glassesThe massacre of up to 1,000,000 communists, leftists, ethnic Chinese, and others in Indonesia in 1965-1967 is a foundational event in modern Indonesian political history, but it remains mostly a footnote for most in the United States and elsewhere.

The documentary THE ACT OF KILLING shocked audiences as perpetrators of the mass murder reenacted their violence. The film has fueled a debate within Indonesia and drawn attention internationally to events unknown to many. Events that the U.S. facilitated and cheered at the time.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE, a companion film to THE ACT OF KILLING will soon be showing in U.S. theaters It follows the investigation by Adi Rukun into the murder of his older brother who was killed during the violence.

These powerful films tell us much about Indonesia today as they do about the past. However, any evaluation of the events of 1965-1967 must include a discussion of the role of Western powers in the violence, especially the United States. The 
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) continues to call for accountability for those in the West who encouraged and assisted in the mass violence in Indonesia. The full truth must come out and the U.S. should declassify all files related to Suharto's U.S.-backed seizure of power and the murderous events which followed.

ETAN has prepared a background piece on the events and aftermath of Suharto's brutal seizure of power, where we focus on the U.S. role and responsibility. Read Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence
What You Can Do

1) Sign the petition urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:
a) declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the 1965/66 mass violence, and b) formally acknowledge the U.S. role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.
Thanks to all who have signed so far.

2) See the THE LOOK OF SILENCE Going to a showing of The Look of Silence? Print out our leaflet and hand it out to the audience. PDFs: half-page: 8.5" x 5.5" or full page - 8.5" x 11"

3) Spread the word about the petition and the film. Write a letter to the editor and post to facebook or other social media calling for the U.S. to take responsibility for its role in the mass killings in Indonesia. Go here for sample letters, tweets and facebook posts. It is best to use your own words. Also use ETAN's Backgrounder: Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence. for additional information. 

4) Organize a discussion of the films. (We will soon have a short discussion guide to assist, write for a copy.) If you are high school teacher or college professor teaching an appropriate subject, consider assigning THE ACT OF KILLING or THE LOOK OF SILENCEto your students. Use it as a springboard for discussions on the impact of U.S. foreign policy, the need to address human rights violations, and how the past affects the present. (Contact: Chris Lundry for further info or assistance.)

5) Support ETAN. We need your support to continue our work for justice and accountability. Please donate today.


For more information see 

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 2015 West Papua Report - exclusive interviews on #papuaitukita and #wp4msg

West Papua Report July 2015

This edition's PERSPECTIVE is an exclusive interview with Zely Airane of the #PapuaItuKita on creative ways they are raising issues involving West Papua in Indonesia. 

In UPDATE: This Issue highlights the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in the Solomon Islands where the United Movement for the Liberation of West Papua (ULMWP) was given observer status. ULMWP's Secretary General Octo Mote talks about the implications of the decision for West Papua. WPAT's interview with Mote is followed by Indonesian and other reactions to the summit, which also upgraded Indonesia's status to associate member of the regional group. The report then analyzes oversights in the State Department's recent human rights report. Also in this issue, 
Papuans Behind Bars report on a new high in arbitrary detentions; the Indonesian parliament blocked plans to release more Papuan political prisoners; and confusion continues on foreign journalist travel to West Papua

In CHRONICLE: A retired Indonesian General says TNI actions in West Papua violate human rights. An NGO criticized plans for a new military command (Kodam) in West Papua. A highly-regarded Australian journalist has described "ignorance, corruption and racism" in West Papua in a series of articles, and a long-term observer analyzes President Widodo's recent visit to the region.

Read the whole issue here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 2015 West Papua Report is now out!

read the issue here:

This edition's PERSPECTIVE examines Indonesia President Widodo's failure to follow through on his election promises concerning West Papua, as his policy changes are regularly contradicted by those charged with implementing them.

In UPDATE: Five political prisoners in Papua were released as the fate of the rest remains in question. Jokowi's opening of West Papua to foreign journalists will only be meaningful with explicit rules governing access. A Papuan charged with treason over his assistance to journalists in West Papua has been acquitted. New reports tell of torture of Papuan civilians and of security force assaults and mass arrests at peaceful Papuan demonstrations. Plans to establish a new military command in West Papua has met with opposition. A prominent human rights advocate has been threatened with prosecution over his reports of security force excesses. U.S. authorities have inexplicably revoked the visa of prominent Papuan leader Benny Wenda. Jokowi goes to PNG, as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit nears. Fiji groups attack their government's stance on West Papua.
In CHRONICLE: President Widodo is backing a major transformation of Papuan land through food plantations. which has prompted loud objections from local people for years. A palm oil supplier continues to destroy of Papuan forests. Global Day of Action's free expression demands remain unfulfilled.

Protester at April 29 Global Day of Action on Access to Papua. Photo by Tapol.

Friday, May 1, 2015

alls for Opening Papua to International Journalists, Aid Organizations and Human Rights Investigators

On Wednesday, April 29, an international group of protesters gathered at the Indonesian consulate near Central Park in New York to call for an end to restrictions on access to West Papua. New Yorkers were joined by a number of West Papuans who were in New York for the UN's annual indigenous peoples' forum, as well as Indonesians, Australians, and Hawaiians, and others, to urged Presidents Jokowi Widodo to fulfill his promise to open the region.

Protesters leafletted and otherwise engaged passers-by and members of the consulate staff. Many of the protesters wore all-black clothing to symbolize the media blackout in Papua.

NYC #openpapua demonstration at Indonesian consulate 

The protest was organized by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), as part of the Global Day of Action for Free and Open Access to Papua. The NYC protest was one of 22 in 10 countries, including Indonesia, Australia, England and the Solomon Islands. In the U.S., demonstrations also took place in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

ETAN also delivered a letter to the consulate and the Indonesian embassy in Washington, DC, asking "what is Indonesia hiding in West Papua?" The letter urges "the end to restrictions on access to Papua" and  says "the media blackout in Papua denies the Papuan people the right to have their voices heard and allows human rights violations such as killings, torture and arbitrary arrests to continue with impunity." It was organized by Tapol and signed by 52 Papuan, Indonesian and international groups and parliamentarians (including ETAN and the West Papua Advocacy Team).

"Why are there such heavy restrictions on access to West Papua?" asked John M. Miller, coordinator of ETAN. "Indonesia's President Joko Widodo should fulfill his promise to end the barriers to journalists, human rights investigators and humanitarian organizations working in the region."

West Papua is one of the world's most isolated conflict spots. For decades, indigenous activists campaigning for their rights have been arrested, disappeared, tortured and killed. Local journalists who uncover the truth face lethal risks. Foreign journalists trying to report on Papua have been arrested, deported, and even imprisoned. One by one, international humanitarian organizations have closed their Papua offices. Access for UN human rights observers has been closed for eight years. Until Indonesia lifts the repressive restrictions on access to Papua, Indonesian security forces and paramilitaries are free to act with total impunity, and indigenous Papuans will continue to be killed.

The East Timor and  Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) was founded in 1991. ETAN supports democracy, human rights and justice in Timor-Leste, West Papua and Indonesia. Website: Twitter: @etan009.

see also West Papua Report

Monday, April 20, 2015

Join #openpapua demonstration in 5 cities: NYC, London, Darwin, Perth, Edinburgh

Join #openpapua demonstration in 5 cities: NYC, London, Darwin, Perth, Edinburgh

Wednesday, April 29

Links are to each protest Facebook page

Darwin, Australia
protest details here:
April 29 2015, 12:00 noon, outside the Indonesian embassy. For us here in Perth the address is 134 Adelaide Terrace East Perth.

Perth, Australia protest details here:
April 29 2015, 12:00 noon, outside the Indonesian embassy. For us here in Perth the address is 134 Adelaide Terrace East Perth.

New York, USA protest details here:
Wednesday, April 29,  6:00 pm,
Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia
5 E 68th St, New York, NY 10065, New York, New York 10065

London, UK protest details here:
Wednesday, April 29, at 12:00 noon
Indonesian Embassy 38 Grosvenor Square London W1
W1K 2 London, United Kingdom

Edinburgh, Scotland details protest here:
Wednesday, April 29, 12:00 noon at the Scottish Parliament, EH99 1SP