Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays!

We are talking a break and will be checking our e-mail less often. We wish everyone happy holidays and a fulfilling and peace-filled New Year! May the peoples of Timor-Leste, West Papua, and Indonesia find the peace, prosperity and justice they so deserve.

Thank you for your interest and support our work for justice and human rights. We look forward to working with you in the coming year.

We hope you will support the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) by including us in your end of year giving. You can safely donate by credit card and read a message from Noam Chomsky about why you should join him in supporting us here:

If you haven't done so, we hope you will sign ETAN's petition calling for an end to 50 years of official silence concerning  U.S. complicity in Indonesian mass violence and  murder. Please sign and share

Thank you
John M. Miller, National Coordinator, ETAN

P.S. Use this link, if you want to sign up for ETAN's listservs on Timor-Leste, West Papua or Indonesia:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Filep Karma is free!

Filep Karma released from prison

West Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma, 56, was released from prison today, having served his full sentence (minus remissions) for participating the raising of West Papua's morning star flag on December 1, 2004. He was convicted of treason in May 2015 and sentenced to 15 years. Filep and his fellow political prisoners (in West Papua and the Mulukus) several times refused presidential clemency, which involve an admission of guilt and pledges not to re-offend, instead demanding unconditional release. He insisted that raising the flag was peaceful and not a crime. Upon release, Filep joined an anniversary event of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), one of West Papua's main liberation groups, at Expo Waena, Jayapura.
ETAN is proud to have campaigned for his release (ETAN collected more than 2700 signatures on a petition initiated by Filep's daughter Audryne Karma calling for the release of her father and other Papuan political prisoners). As we celebrate Filep's freedom, we remember those still in prison and those still harassed, arrested and tortured for exercising their freedom of speech in support of West Papua's freedom and human rights.
The September 2015 of ETAN and WPAT's West Papua Report featured his case.


Papuans Behind Bars

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 2015 West Papua Report

November 2015 West Papua Report is out: TNI embeds, fires and smoke, transmigration, Freeport, Melanesian gambit, more

This edition's Perspective discusses the implications for West Papua for the Indonesian military's continuing effort to re-involve itself in civilian affairs.

Update summarizes the grave problems of toxic smoke from massive fires set by palm oil plantation developers and others across the Indonesian archipelago. For the first time, fires are taking place on a large scale in West Papua. Transmigration continues to undermine West Papuans. The lack of Papuan involvement in the controversial plan to extend Freeport's mining concession in West Papua is raising concerns. The Indonesian government'sMelanesian gambit meets resistance.

Chronicle announces two important new reports and calls attention to the special problems posed by military repression for Papuan women, We link to Democracy Now! coverage by  of President Widodo's visit to the U.S.  The Indonesian Perss Council derends press freedom in West Papua. Maire Leadbetter sees hope for West Papua.

Want to receive issues of the West Papua Report via email: send us a note.

Cartoonist's depiction of Indonesian government restrictions on media freedom and
rights monitoring in Papua. Copyright 2015 Toni Malakian for Human Rights Watch.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Oppose Indonesia Joining the TPP

ETAN is helping to circulate a petition demanding Indonesia President not sign on to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

Go here to sign English language version of the petition

The Bahasa Indonesia version is here.

Here are 11 reasons to oppose Indonesia joining the TPP
1. Eliminating state control over the public sector
2. Strengthen the dominance of foreign corporation in the procurement of government goods and services
3. 'Disempower' SOEs for the national interest
4. Eliminating access to cheap medicines
5.Threaten food sovereignty and the sovereignty of the farmers
6. Preserve the oppression of Labor
7. Crush small businesses, medium enterprises and cooperatives
8. Enlarge the trade deficit
9. Importing American laws 
10. Weaken the country's position when in the dispute with multinational corporations
11. Threaten freedom of expression, information and knowledge on the Internet
Additonal information from Indonesia for Global Justicefacebook

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

1965: Evidence from Canadian documents

by David Webster, Associate Professor, Department of History, Bishop's University 

At a time when the Indonesian government seems to be clamping down on discussion of the mass killings of 1965, it’s more important than ever to share documentary evidence about the wave of violence that swept Indonesia 50 years ago and brought the Suharto military dictatorship to power.

The events of 1965 are not just an Indonesian story. In the words of a recent book co-edited by Indonesian scholar Baskara Wardaya SJ and international scholar Bernd Schaefer: “So far the international dimension of those events is hardly explored. Although they were domestic by execution, they were also firmly embedded into the global Cold War.”

Fifty years ago an army-led campaign of brutality targeted hundreds of thousands of Indonesians accused of being left-wingers in sympathy with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The killings started with a coup and counter-coup, and were encouraged by the US embassy’s provision of names to the army. As U.S. government documents published in 2001 reveal, the Johnson administration had severed most American ties to President Sukarno’s government, preferring to work with the Indonesian army.

The true extent of American involvement in the Indonesian regime change and mass killings of 1965 is a story still to be written. Increasingly, there seems to be evidence that those once accused of being “conspiracy theorists” were right on many scores. Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat who became a professor of English in California, is one of the most prominent of those figures, and has recently written a retrospective on his seminal article on US complicity in the events of 1965, forty years after its first publication.

Many State Department documents have been released. But many more remain hidden. U.S. government documents are normally declassified on a fixed cycle and the key documents published in the series Foreign Relations of the United States. When the time came to release the FRUS volume dealing with Indonesia in 1965, the government stalled on releasing of the volume.

That’s why ETAN has launched a campaign for a full declassification of all the United States government documents and a U.S. government acknowledgement of the American role in aiding and abetting the 1965 killings. 

Indonesia's Major-General Suharto, in camouflage uniform, at the funeral for
six generals killed by rebels in the abortive attempt to overthrow
then president Sukarno in 1965. The coup attempt led to
nationwide massacres. 
Photo: AP
In the face of this withholding of information, it may be worth checking the files of more distant and less involved governments. Below I share some documents declassified by the Library and Archives Canada, part of the files of Canada’s Department of External Affairs. They reveal that Western governments had been aware of coup planning by the Indonesian army months before the actual coup; that Western governments did not initially believe the PKI was involved, but encouraged the army to attack the PKI regardless; that Canada’s government was one of those that did nothing to deter the mass killings – even with an estimate by the Indoensian ambassador in early 1966 that half a million people were already dead; and that the restoration of foreign aid to the new military regime of General Suharto was designed to anchor Indonesia into the Western side in the Cold War rather than aiming at humanitarian relief. Canada was a minor but well-informed player. Like other Western governments, it was pleased to see the Indonesian army take power, and indifferent to the enormous death toll that aided that path to power.

Many accounts depict the coup attempt of October 1, 1965, as a surprise that caught Western governments unaware. But in fact, coup talk had been around for some time. In June 1965, for instance, the prime minister of Malaysia informed diplomats from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand that that Indonesia’s ambassador, a noted anti-communist, had told him that the army planned to get Sukarno out of the country and have him held hostage while it destroyed the PKI. PM Tunku Abdul Rahman said his information was that the Indonesian army “had decided time had come for drastic action to save country from Communist take-over. Army leaders were plotting to get Soekarno out of country and to hold him ‘if necessary at pistol point’ while army suppressed Communists and established pro-Western Govt.” The Tunku thought that the story might be fabricated, but also suspected the hand of the United States behind the army’s alleged plans.

When, as September turned to October, soldiers led by Lt.-Col. Untung struck at the army command, capturing and killing top generals, General Suharto was quick to blame the PKI. Army-orchestrated massacres began soon after. The evidence shows that the “Old Commonwealth countries” put little faith in the claim that Untung’s coup was masterminded by the PKI. “As far as Brits could learn,” a Canadian diplomat in London wrote after meeting the responsible official at the Foreign Office, “Untung himself was not Communist and there was no firm evidence that Sep. 30 movement was inspired by Communists.” The British official reportedly told his Canadian counterpart: “Although it was tempting to believe that army would take advantage of present opportunity as excuse to deliver really crushing blow to Communists, unfortunately there were signs already that this was not likely to happen…” The hopes of the British Foreign Office, in other words, lay parallel to those of the US State department as already revealed in US documents – that the army would seize the chance to destroy the PKI. Their fears were that the army lacked the resolve or the capacity to carry out this task.

In information-gathering about the coup, Canada’s mission in Tokyo similarly learned that the Japanese government assessment was also that there was no PKI involvement. “There was no evidence of sufficient prior planning to indicate organized effort by PKI,” a report stated. In a subsequent report, Japanese officials expressed a “low opinion of [the Indonesian army’s] admin[istrative] capacity and honesty” and predicted that they thought the army would do a poor job of governing Indonesia.

Increasingly in the final months of 1965, the army command took the reins of government and encouraged violence against PKI members and others. By January 1966, the army-dominated government in Jakarta was ready to ask for foreign aid. The Canadian response to an Indonesian request to resume aid, which Canada had ended in 1964, was cautious to a fault. Ottawa planned to consult its major allies before acting, but noted that aid “might provide a means by which Indonesia could be drawn back into corporate international life.” Short-term relief, delivered ideally through the United Nations and its specialized agencies, might help ensure that the new regime in Jakarta would be pro-Western. 

Members of the Youth Wing of the Indonesian Communist party are guarded
by soldiers as they are taken by open truck to prison in Jakarta, 1965. Photo: AP
What is striking in Canadian embassy reporting from Jakarta in the last months of 1965 and the early months of 1966 is the lack of attention to killings engulfing parts of the country. One embassy report opened with a declaration that the major challenges in Indonesian domestic affairs were led by high prices and inflation. Ironically, it took the Indonesian ambassador to Canada to put an estimate of the death toll of record. In his last call in Ottawa before being recalled to Jakarta, Ambassador L.N. Palar, speaking with “great frankness,” said that half a million people might have been killed by January 1966. Palar was one of the most respected members of Indonesia’s diplomatic corps – he had led the insurgent Indonesian independence delegation at the UN in the 1940s and then Indonesia’s UN delegation and been ambassador in Washington. His views, therefore, carried weight. His estimate was that the official estimate of 87,000 dead “was on the conservative side; speaking personally he would not be surprised if the tally came closer to 500,000.”

This death toll did not alter Canadian views. Indeed, the Canadian ambassador in Jakarta, like U.S. colleagues, lamented the “passivity of [the] generals” in the face of President Sukarno’s efforts to remain in office. Canada, like its allies, hoped that the army would be more ruthless and seize power sooner rather than later.

Days later, Indonesian generals forced Sukarno to sign the “11 March 1966 order” in which he handed real power to General Suharto. A representative was dispatched to stress to the British ambassador that the transfer of power was “gentlemanly” rather than brutal, and that “it would greatly help the Generals if this view could be taken abroad, rather than a renewed impression of lawless violence.” Britain’s man in Jakarta duly made that recommendation.

In sum, the Canadian documents add to the weight of evidence that 1965 was an international story, as well as an Indonesian tragedy. Western governments were not surprised by events. They did not look on passively – instead, they encouraged the army to finish off its PKI rivals. They carefully used levers such as diplomatic pressure and foreign aid to support the result they desired: a military regime in Indonesia. And if that meant thousands killed, this was not bad news to the West, but simply the cost of bringing about the intended end of a pro-Western, army-governed Indonesia.


Help ETAN  shatter the 50 years of silence concerning US complicity in
Indonesian violence. Sign, share

ETAN needs your support. Please donate today. Go to to ETAN's email lists

Saturday, October 24, 2015

ETAN Urges Obama to Raise West Papua Rights with Indonesia President

Read the whole release here:

ETAN Urges Obama to Raise West Papua Rights with Indonesia President

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) today urged President Obama to forcefully urge Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to end human rights violations.

n a petition signed by nearly 1400 people, the U.S. president was urged "to condition U.S. support for the Indonesian security forces on concrete improvements in human rights."

John M. Miller, the national coordinator of ETAN, said that "President Widodo pledged to improve human rights in West Papua. By conditioning assistance to the Indonesian military and police, President Obama can support this policy by striking at those most reluctant to implement it."

Miller added that "Widodo's rights pledge has been undermined by Indonesia's security forces and some of Jokowi's own officials."

Obama and Widodo are scheduled to meet in Washington, DC, on Monday, October 26. 

Read more here

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Demonstrate during Jokowi's U.S. Visit

If we didn't know any better, we would say President Widodo was avoiding us! He cancelled the two events on his preliminary schedule that we had planned to bring our messages of support for human rights and justice in Indonesia and West Papua. Stay tuned for future activities.-- John M. Miller for ETAN.

Join ETAN, Sign up today!

Protest Freeport and Indonesia's Theft of West Papuan Resources

Please note; The Washington, DC demonstration is cancelled. President Jokowi's planned meeting with Freeport will not take place. The California demonstration is still on!

Sign up for ETAN's email lists
Demand President Jokowi Support Justice for All

Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 09:00 - noon
Where: Computer History Museum 
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043

Demand Jokowi Support Justice for All

Contact : Peter Phwan, ETAN/ICANet, San Francisco (415) 812-2414
Muhamad Amin,, San Francisco (415) 412-6372
John M. Miller, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), 917-690-4391

Facebook page

Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will shortly visit the United States to meet with President Obama. On October 28, President Jokowi is set to give a speech at Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. This forum will be all about business. Jokowi was elected with the promise that his administration would different. He has yet to fulfill this promise. Positive initiatives by President Jokowi have been undermined by his own officials and many important issues, such as justice and accountability for past human rights crimes, have not been seriously addressed.

More information here

Join ETAN, Sign up today!

Monday, October 26, 2015, 8:45 - 9:45 am
Willard Hotel

Contact John M. Miller, East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), 917-690-4391,

On Monday, Oct. 26, Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will meet with officials of the Freeport McMoRan mining company. Freeport, which runs what at among the world's largest copper and gold mine in West Papua. The mine is Indonesia's largest revenue generator. Monday's meeting is part of negotiations about the renewal of Freeport's license, including a new split of the mine's revenue. Revenue that rightfully belongs to the West Papuan people.

More information here

Freeport's Grasberg mine in West Papua. Credit: Panos Pictures/Rob Huibers

Sunday, October 18, 2015

West Papua Report  October 2015


This edition's Perspective presents the views of the governments of Solomon Islands, Tonga and Indonesia as presented during the UN General Assembly's general debate.

Update summarizes the recent meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum where West Papua was prominent on the agenda. The Forum agreed to send a "fact-finding mission" to West Papua. The Widodo Administration to revive and expand the Merauke Industrial Food and Energy Estate Project (MIFEE), a project that will have disastrous consequences for local Papuans. Police twice this month assaulted Papuan students in the Timika area, killing one. The Defense Minister has announced plans to resume recruiting paramilitaries in certain areas, including West Papua. There is a long tradition of military employment of nationalist thugs to intimidate local populations. The investigation  of the December 2014 Paniai police murder of Papuans remains stalled.

Chronicle: New report over emphasizes alleged Papuan violence at the expense of what it even calls the "far larger and far more active presence" of the political pressure groups within and outside West Papua. Maori Television broadcasts first directly-reported segments on West Papua by a New Zealand network. Indonesian diplomat answers article on growing international efforts by West Papuans.

Sign ETAN's Petition!
Urge Obama to Support West Papua Rights

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tell Obama to support West Papua #humanrights

Sign our petition

Tell Obama to support Papua Human Rights

On October 26, 2015, President Obama will meet with Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Beginning in May 1963, West Papua was occupied by Indonesia with U.S. government support and encouragement. By 1969, Indonesia had annexed the territory. Over the course of five decades, West Papuans have suffered mass killings, torture, rape, and the loss of their culture and lands. U.S. corporations like the mining giant Freeport McMoRan have devastated the environment. At least 100,000 Papuans are estimated to have died as a result of Indonesian rule. In addition, the region has been so inundated with migrants that indigenous Papuans are no longer a majority in their own land.
The U.S. continues to arm and train the security forces that repress the West Papuan people. The Indonesian government's attempts to conceal the truth about West Papua include banning foreign journalists and UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights from visiting the territory. While President Widodo has announced several positive initiatives, elements in his government, including the security forces, are resisting change and the human rights violations continue.
The West Papuans continue to resist Indonesian rule. Groups supporting self-determination recently came together in the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a broad coalition to press their case within West Papua and internationally.
Restrictions on security assistance from the United States were important in Timor-Leste (East Timor) gaining their independence from Indonesia. The U.S. should again restrict training and weapons to Indonesia in support of the rights of West Papuans.
This is a petition of the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network For more information on West Papua, read the monthly West Papua Report, published by the West Papua Advocacy Team and ETAN.

Friday, September 18, 2015

new on ETAN's website: Watching The Look of Silence in Dili

On August 22, 2015, the first public screening of Joshua Oppenheimer's filmThe Look of Silence drew around 60 people to the Asosiasaun HAK human rights office in Dili. The documentary probes the impact of the 1965/66 mass killings that brought the dictator Suharto to power in Indonesia and the impunity which continues to prevail for these and others crimes by Indonesian security forces.

read the rest here

Sign and share ETAN's petition

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Read the September 2015 West Papua Report

September 2015 West Papua Report is available here.


This edition's Perspective provides background on the widely-respected West Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma.

In the "Update" section, the prospects for President Joko Widodo to fulfill his promise to release political prisoner releases. 
General Hartomo who was convicted for his part in the killing of Papuan leader Theys Eluay has been promoted. Indonesian military personnel killed two and wounded more in Timika. Religious leaders and the Indonesian Human Rights Commission are among those demanding justice. Papuans Behind Bars reports on growing threats to human rights defenders in Wamena. A proposal by senior Widodo administration officials to tighten restrictions on journalists was aborted, but policy regarding journalist freedoms remains unclear notwithstanding a May pledge by President Widodo to loosen restrictions. Vanuatu reiterates support for West Papua as the Pacific Islands Forum prepares to meet. Jakarta has admitted inadequate support for air traffic in West Papua, in the wake of a costly air crash there.

In Chronicle the report highlights to a commentary by Pastor Neles Tebay who underscores the importance of communications among Papuans in addressing issues confronting Papuans. The leader of the Muslim community in Tolikara has emphasized the role of customary law in addressing the violence in that community in July. An excerpt from a forthcoming book describes the West Papuan campaign for MSG membership.

Mourners accompany the bodies of Yulianus Okoare and Herman Mairimau, victims of a recent
 shooting by members of the military to the cemetery Photo: Antara/Husyen Abdillah

Friday, August 14, 2015

The New York Agreement

The October 2012 issue of the West Papua Report had a perspective article on the 50th anniversary of the August 15 signing of the "New York Agreement," a watershed agreement, undertaken without Papuan participation, which sealed the Papuan people's fate as subject to annexation by Indonesia. Read the article here.

apuans protest at U.S. embassy in Jakarta, August 15, on 50th anniversary of signing New York Agreement.
Papuans protest at U.S. embassy in Jakarta, August 15,2012 on 50th anniversary of signing New York Agreement. Photo from UCANews.

An excerpt: "The New York Agreement made provision for the Papuans to vote for an independent future or to stay under Indonesian rule. The provision for the Papuans to vote was a crucial aspect of negotiations in the agreement which stipulated the vote should be "the freely expressed will of the population", but it was not. Leading up to the "Act of Free Choice" in 1969, many prominent Papuans were arrested and killed in the process of "culling", and this policy remains unchanged even today."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Now out - April 2015 West Papua Report

Now out - April 2015 West Papua Report
Read report here

This edition's PERSPECTIVE provides a detailed overview of the Tolikara incident in which security force fired on a demonstration by Christian Papuans killed one and injured 11 others. The demonstrators then attacked a Muslim community, burning kiosks and a mosque. Years of government "transmigration" policies and neglect of Papuans have left West Papua a powder keg. Despite this, the local Tolikara community has come together to resolve tensions.In UPDATEPressure is growing on the Indonesian government to credibly investigate the December 14, 2014 murder of four West Papuans by security forces. The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham) "Ad Hoc Investigation" has made little headway and competing security force investigations appear aimed at pressuring victim families to abandon efforts to force accountability. Negotiations between the Indonesian government and mining giant Freeport McMoRan have led to a six month extension of its license. Talks to renew its contract have not yet gotten underway and are essential if Freeport operations are to continue past 2021. There are growing calls to reduce security forces in West Papua.
In CHRONICLEDemographic trends in West Papua which have seen the reduction of Papuans to the status of a minority in their own land. Renowned human rights campaigner Carmel Budiardjo calls into question the United Kingdom's cooperation with the Indonesian government. AWest Papua "embassy" was temporarily set up in Darwin. The Pacific Islands Forum was urged to put West Papua on its agenda.


Grasburg Mine in West Papua

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime


Reveal the Truth, Acknowledge the Crime
Take Action on U.S. Support for Mass Violence and Genocide in Indonesia

The Look of Silence glassesThe massacre of up to 1,000,000 communists, leftists, ethnic Chinese, and others in Indonesia in 1965-1967 is a foundational event in modern Indonesian political history, but it remains mostly a footnote for most in the United States and elsewhere.

The documentary THE ACT OF KILLING shocked audiences as perpetrators of the mass murder reenacted their violence. The film has fueled a debate within Indonesia and drawn attention internationally to events unknown to many. Events that the U.S. facilitated and cheered at the time.
THE LOOK OF SILENCE, a companion film to THE ACT OF KILLING will soon be showing in U.S. theaters It follows the investigation by Adi Rukun into the murder of his older brother who was killed during the violence.

These powerful films tell us much about Indonesia today as they do about the past. However, any evaluation of the events of 1965-1967 must include a discussion of the role of Western powers in the violence, especially the United States. The 
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) continues to call for accountability for those in the West who encouraged and assisted in the mass violence in Indonesia. The full truth must come out and the U.S. should declassify all files related to Suharto's U.S.-backed seizure of power and the murderous events which followed.

ETAN has prepared a background piece on the events and aftermath of Suharto's brutal seizure of power, where we focus on the U.S. role and responsibility. Read Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence
What You Can Do

1) Sign the petition urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:
a) declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the 1965/66 mass violence, and b) formally acknowledge the U.S. role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.
Thanks to all who have signed so far.

2) See the THE LOOK OF SILENCE Going to a showing of The Look of Silence? Print out our leaflet and hand it out to the audience. PDFs: half-page: 8.5" x 5.5" or full page - 8.5" x 11"

3) Spread the word about the petition and the film. Write a letter to the editor and post to facebook or other social media calling for the U.S. to take responsibility for its role in the mass killings in Indonesia. Go here for sample letters, tweets and facebook posts. It is best to use your own words. Also use ETAN's Backgrounder: Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia's Mass Violence. for additional information. 

4) Organize a discussion of the films. (We will soon have a short discussion guide to assist, write for a copy.) If you are high school teacher or college professor teaching an appropriate subject, consider assigning THE ACT OF KILLING or THE LOOK OF SILENCEto your students. Use it as a springboard for discussions on the impact of U.S. foreign policy, the need to address human rights violations, and how the past affects the present. (Contact: Chris Lundry for further info or assistance.)

5) Support ETAN. We need your support to continue our work for justice and accountability. Please donate today.


For more information see 

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 2015 West Papua Report - exclusive interviews on #papuaitukita and #wp4msg

West Papua Report July 2015

This edition's PERSPECTIVE is an exclusive interview with Zely Airane of the #PapuaItuKita on creative ways they are raising issues involving West Papua in Indonesia. 

In UPDATE: This Issue highlights the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in the Solomon Islands where the United Movement for the Liberation of West Papua (ULMWP) was given observer status. ULMWP's Secretary General Octo Mote talks about the implications of the decision for West Papua. WPAT's interview with Mote is followed by Indonesian and other reactions to the summit, which also upgraded Indonesia's status to associate member of the regional group. The report then analyzes oversights in the State Department's recent human rights report. Also in this issue, 
Papuans Behind Bars report on a new high in arbitrary detentions; the Indonesian parliament blocked plans to release more Papuan political prisoners; and confusion continues on foreign journalist travel to West Papua

In CHRONICLE: A retired Indonesian General says TNI actions in West Papua violate human rights. An NGO criticized plans for a new military command (Kodam) in West Papua. A highly-regarded Australian journalist has described "ignorance, corruption and racism" in West Papua in a series of articles, and a long-term observer analyzes President Widodo's recent visit to the region.

Read the whole issue here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 2015 West Papua Report is now out!

read the issue here:

This edition's PERSPECTIVE examines Indonesia President Widodo's failure to follow through on his election promises concerning West Papua, as his policy changes are regularly contradicted by those charged with implementing them.

In UPDATE: Five political prisoners in Papua were released as the fate of the rest remains in question. Jokowi's opening of West Papua to foreign journalists will only be meaningful with explicit rules governing access. A Papuan charged with treason over his assistance to journalists in West Papua has been acquitted. New reports tell of torture of Papuan civilians and of security force assaults and mass arrests at peaceful Papuan demonstrations. Plans to establish a new military command in West Papua has met with opposition. A prominent human rights advocate has been threatened with prosecution over his reports of security force excesses. U.S. authorities have inexplicably revoked the visa of prominent Papuan leader Benny Wenda. Jokowi goes to PNG, as the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit nears. Fiji groups attack their government's stance on West Papua.
In CHRONICLE: President Widodo is backing a major transformation of Papuan land through food plantations. which has prompted loud objections from local people for years. A palm oil supplier continues to destroy of Papuan forests. Global Day of Action's free expression demands remain unfulfilled.

Protester at April 29 Global Day of Action on Access to Papua. Photo by Tapol.