Pacific Scoop

West Papua: Why the news media silence over oppression in Melanesia?

Full version of the critically acclaimed undercover documentary, Forgotten Bird of Paradise, on the West Papua independence struggle. Producer: Dominic Brown. Video: West Papua Unite.

Pacific Scoop:
Opinion – By Kim Peart

How many Australian or New Zealand reporters are currently working in western New Guinea, or reporters from other free nations in the world, reporting on the on-going violence against the Papuan indigenous population, which includes torture and killings?

Is the situation in New Guinea too dangerous for reporters to cover?

Are Australian reporters and those from other free nations still being barred from working in western New Guinea?

Is our outrage over the treatment of the Papuans by Indonesia since 1963 muffled beneath the value of the resources accessed in western New Guinea by Australian interests, along with other free nations?

Do we fear Indonesia so much, that the human rights of the Papuan people of western New Guinea are in some way irrelevant?

Answers to these questions would be appreciated, in the light of yet another disturbing story coming out of West Papu:

Jayapura, West Papua, 24 June 2012

Five KNPB members were being taken away by Indonesian security forces, Detachment 88, on 23-24 June 2012.

It was reported by Yusak Pakage via his mobile phone that a KNPB member, Zakeus Hupla, had been arrested and was taken away by Indonesian Police Detachment 88  when he was standing in front of the receptionist desk at Dhanny Hotel in Entrop, Jayapura, at around 11.00am (Papua time), on 23 June 2012.

Beside the kidnapping of Zakeus Hupla, it was also reported by another trusted source that the others two KNPB members, Wayut Aspalek and Niel Kogoya were arrested and being taken away , at around 8pm (Papua time) on 24 June 2012, in Perumnas III Waena, Jayapura .

Still in the same day, after two hours later, it was also reported that Niel Wolom and Ishak Elopere were tortured badly before being arrested and taken away as well, by Detachment 88.

The family and friends are concern about the lives of those who were being taken away by Detachment 88 because they could not find them in any police custody since they has been taken away by Detachment 88 who were wearing camouflage-curly hairs, wearing civil clothes and armed with long machine guns, and used 6 vehicles on their operation.

According to the witnesses and families that there were no arrest warrants issued by Indonesian police on those cases. Family demand the explanation from Indonesia police for the reasons of the arresting of these five members of KNPB (West Papua National Committee).

Families and friends have asked the Police Region and the Police Precinct in Jayapura but according to those institutions they didn’t have those KNPB members in their custodies.

Indonesian government and its security forces should be responsible for the kidnapping/arresting of those KNPB members and should return them safely to their family.

The civilians in West Papua are so much concern about their right of life in that territory, despite the territory has immense geopolitical and economic significance for Indonesia, Australia, US, China  and some
European Union countries.   It was claimed that more than 100,000 of West Papuans have been killed by Indonesia security forces since Indonesia took over and occupying the land.

Some people believe that only a goodwill from Indonesian government to carry out a peaceful dialogue with the West Papua representatives in an international mediation-setting agenda can find the solutions toward the long standing conflicts in West Papua.

But, most of the West Papuans demand that only a pure Referendum (not like the The Act of Free Choice in 1969) is the best answer to the solution for the long standing conflicts in West Papua since this land was annexed by Indonesian in 1963 by the help of United States, Australia, Dutch and the United Nations.

– Paula Makabory, IPAHR Australia

Kim Peart is an Australia-based journalist who writes on West Papuan affairs. Other reports.