Wednesday, December 4, 2013

West Papua Report December 2013 - Religious Transformation, crackdown, Freeport, autonomy, Vanuatu speaks out andmore

Latest West Papua Report is now available here


In this edition's "Perspective," Dr. Charles Farhadian describes the transformation of the religious landscape of West Papua, in particular the role of the Indonesian government in the shift of the region from predominantly Christian to predominantly Muslim.

This month's "Update" leads with the police crackdown on West Papuan demonstrators which left at least one Papuan dead, many injured and many under arrest. WPAT sources in Papua New Guinea report that Papuan rights supporters foiled efforts by national police to arrest Port Moresby Governor Powes Parkop for flying the Papuan Morning Star Flag on December 1. Two reports look at the mining giant Freeport McMoRan, including its "greenwashing" activities. Moana Carassas, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, raised the plight of the people of West Papua at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka. A prominent Indonesian journalist called for greater transparency by the Indonesian government in dealing with West Papua.  A regional journal reports on West Papuan activists in carrying their message to the nations of the Pacific.

In "Chronicle," we note condemnation of recent police violence in West Papua by Amnesty International and the West Papua Advocacy Team. The impact of the recent "Freedom Flotilla" is considered in a comprehensive essay. West Papuan voices are largely absent in the ongoing reconsideration of special autonomy for West Papua.  An OpEd by ETAN board member Andrew de Sousa looks at the role of the "School of the Americas" in training military officials who have notorious human rights records. A regional conference examined policing practices.

Powes Parkop, Governor of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea's capital region, was presented with the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award" for 2013. Parkop (center, holding plaque), with Jennifer Robinson and Benny and Maria Wenda in Port Moresby.

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