Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's back! April 2015 West Papua Report

West Papua Report  April 2015


This edition's Perspective is an interview with Octo Mote, General Secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, on the prospects for MSG membership.

In UPDATE (covering February and March) the West Papua Advocacy Team announces that it has awarded its 2015 "John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award" to the people and government of Vanuatu. Security forces in Yahukimo District have fired on civilians who were raising funds for humanitarian relief in cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu, killing one and wounding four. Indonesia's Foreign Minister was dispatched to three Pacific island states to try to dampen growing support for West Papua's application to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Archbishop Tutu urged the United Nations to investigate the fraudulent "Act of Free Choice" through which Indonesia forcibly annexed West Papua. Rights groups have called for Indonesia to address outstanding human rights cases in West Papua. Four youths were beaten by security forces in Jayapura. Plans by Freeport to construct a smelter in Papua have not involved the Kamoro on whose land the smelter will be located. The Kamoro have long suffered from the effects of Freeport's mining operations.

In CHRONICLE, we note upcoming demonstrations in London and New York; an in-depth analysis of Jakarta's security approach to West Papua; an argument that human rights violations fuel Melanesian support for West Papuans, and a look at ongoing media restrictions.

Demonstrations to Call for Open Access to Papua #openpapua

Demonstrations to Call for Open Access to Papua

End 50 years of isolation and Support free and open access to Papua.

April 29, 2015, 6 p.m.

Indonesian Consulate, 5 E 68th St. (near 5th Ave.) in Manhattan
(take #6 train to 68 St.-Hunter College stop; N, R, Q to 5th Ave/59th St.)

On April 29, demonstrations will be held in London and New York calling for an end to 50 years of isolation and free and open access to Papua. (The London protest will take place at noon, outside the Indonesian embassy, 38 Grosvenor Square) the New York protest will begin at 6 pm at the Indonesian consulate in Manhattan. 

Tapol, which initiated the protests, is organizing the London demonstration. ETAN is organizing the one in New York. Additional events may be organized elsewhere.

West Papua is one of the world’s most isolated conflict spots. For decades, indigenous activists campaigning for their rights have been arrested, disappeared, tortured and killed. Local journalists who uncover the truth face lethal risks. Foreign journalists trying to report on Papua have been arrested, deported and even imprisoned. One by one, international humanitarian organizations have closed their Papua offices. Access for UN human rights observers has been closed for eight years. Until Indonesia lifts the repressive restrictions on access to Papua, Indonesian security forces and paramilitaries are free to act with total impunity, and indigenous Papuans will continue to be killed.

Demonstrators will be wearing all-black clothing to protest the media blackout in Papua. They will be carrying placards, some of which will be ‘censored,’ and have their mouths taped shut.

Contact ETAN ( or 917-690-4321 for more info.