Thursday, January 6, 2011

West Papua Report January 2011

Full issue at


Wikileaked U.S. Embassy cables reveal the U.S. government, in private, is far more critical of Indonesian military abuses in West Papua and thoroughly understands that Indonesian policies there, including acknowledging that "special autonomy" has failed. The cables contradict in substance and tone testimony to the U.S. Congress offered by a senior State Department official in September 2010. The Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights has condemned and is investigating increasing state violence against Papuans. Leaders of Papuan civil society have presented renowned human rights advocate Carmel Budiardjo with the first award declaring a foreign national as a citizen of Papua. She will henceforth be regarded as the "Eldest Daughter of Papua. The recently retired U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia has been hired by the Sinar Mas Conglomerate. Sinar Mas, like Freeport McMoRan which also provided a sinecure for a retired U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, has a notorious reputation for environmental destruction. A prominent Papuan civil society figure has issued a powerful indictment of Indonesian policy in West Papua and called for fundamental changes. The TNI Commander, in remarks to media, has sought to spin the torture and beatings of Papuans, videoed and widely viewed on the internet, as not constituting human rights violations but rather only violations of orders. The TNI Inspector General tells the media that the TNI is working with the police to identify those responsible for exposing these TNI crimes via the internet. Many international human rights organizations have condemned the continued juridical persecution of prisoners of conscience Filep Karma and Buchtar Tabuni. Papuan civil society leaders and senior Papuan officials have called for an end to crimes against Papuan women. A WPAT commentary looks back over the history of impunity for such abuses. Various Papuan sources have remarked that again in 2010, as in past years, security forces have ratcheted up efforts to intimidate Papuans as Papuans commemorated Papuan independence day and Christmas.

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