Monday, February 1, 2010

West Papua Report February 2010

The February 2010 West Papua Report, 69th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans, is now available. The 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


Papuans have also staged rallies in support of calls for a referendum on West Papua's political status and to welcome efforts of international support groups. New research has pointed to the persistence and perniciousness of the Indonesian military's illegal logging. A new attack on Freeport personnel re-enforces analyses that Indonesian security forces are orchestrating the violence. An Indonesian NGO and the Papuan branch of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission say that rights protection in West Papua declined in 2009. A Human Rights Watch report details rights violations in 2009. The Indonesian military has named a senior Special Forces (Kopassus) officer to head up the military in West Papua. The appointment conflicts with Papuan efforts to begin a dialogue with the central government and to demilitarize West Papua. The man chosen to replace independence leader Kelly Kwalik, killed by the police in December, has pledged to continue Kwalik's pursuit of a peaceful dialogue with Indonesian authorities. The police who killed Kwalik have been honored for their action. The Indonesian government plans to ban more books, including some which address Papuan issues. The Indonesian Government is moving forward with plans for a "food estate" in West Papua which will expropriate land from local people and bring many non-Papuans to the site as laborers. A local union and others have condemned the plan as a "land grab."

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