Monday, September 6, 2010

West Papua Report - September 2010

This is the 77th 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 Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at


More than a score of international non-governmental organizations called on President Yudhoyono to release Papuan Political Prisoners in commemoration of Indonesia's August 17 Independence Day. Although the President did release and reduce sentences for convicted terrorists and common criminals on the national day, he did not respond to the appeal regarding political prisoners. The Indonesian Government has banned activities by Cordaid, a Dutch humanitarian organization that has aided poor Papuans for over three decades. The action is reminiscent of the Indonesian Government's banning of International Committee of The Red Cross in West Papua in 2009. The Indonesian Commission on Human Rights and Papuan churches have urged the Indonesian government to reconsider  its security approach in the Puncak Jaya region and address the growing violence there, including attacks on churches. The Indonesian government is under growing pressure to investigate the mysterious murder of a journalist in Merauke. Local police claim he committed suicide. The murdered journalist had built a reputation on investigation of illegal military businesses. The murder comes at a time of growing tension in the area as corporate interests seek to develop a massive food plantation. A video circulating widely on YouTube reveals the final moments of a Papuan bayoneted while in custody as he is taunted by the police.

Read the complete issue here