Tuesday, December 1, 2009

West Papua Report December 2009

West Papua Report December 2009

This is the 67th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published with the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) Back issues are posted online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/default.htm Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at edmcw@msn.com.

Two U.S. Congressman, both sub-committees chairs, have written to President Yudhoyono to urge a dialogue between the Indonesian national government and leaders of West Papua. Among issues the U.S. represented as possible to resolve in such a dialogue were the "demographic shifts leaving many Papuans as minorities in their own land." The Indonesian Government has announced plans to establish a new military command in West Papua. The move, which would significantly increase the military presence in West Papua has drawn opposition from Papuans and beyond. Human rights activists have publicly pressed the Indonesian Government to investigate and prosecute long-standing crimes, notably against Papuans. There is growing public condemnation of the detention and mistreatment of Papuans over their alleged involvement of shooting incidents in the Timika area. As the incidents have continued, it has become self evident that those arrested in July were innocent and that those behind the incidents have demonstrated the firepower, mobility and resources available only to Indonesia's security forces. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for the release of Papuans accused of involvement in peaceful flag-raising demonstrations. Convictions of flag-raisers, HRW argues, violates the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Indonesia ratified in 2006. Media reports are beginning to shed light on the abduction of Papuan children by the Indonesian military. The practice, entailing sending the young Papuans to Java, is reminiscent of military abductions of Timorese children during Indonesia's long, brutal occupation of East Timor. There was late-November reporting of more physical abuse of Papuan detainees. 

The full report  can be found online at http://etan.org/issues/wpapua/0912wpap.htm.

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