Wednesday, May 4, 2011
West Papua Report May 2011
now out West Papua Report May 2011
Thousands of Papuans, on May 2, began peaceful rallies demanding a referendum on West Papua's political future, an end to "Special Autonomy," and international intervention in to end decades of human rights abuse and injustice at the hands of the Indonesian government. The date coincides with Indonesian forced annexation of West Papua over four decades ago. Security personnel are out in force in many West Papua towns and cities and some arrests have already been reported. The annual U.S. Department of State report on human rights in Indonesia accurately and in some detail describes the extensive human rights violations in West Papua, correctly assigning blame for the abuse principally to Indonesian security forces. The report also notes that those perpetrating the abuse are largely unaccountable for their crimes. The report, as in the past, largely fails to address violations of cultural, economic and social rights. Indonesian security forces have run amok in Dogiyai district driving many from their homes following a violent protest by Papuans over the police killing of two unarmed Papuans. Papuans have urged the suspension of disbursement of special autonomy funds following findings by the Supreme Audit Agency that the funds intended to benefit Papuans have been embezzled. Yale University hosted a seminar to review of developments in and affecting West Papua. The Forestry Minister has pledged not to issue permits that would entail the destruction of pristine Papuan forests. The massive Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) appears to be an exception to this policy.