Column – Australia West Papua Association
The Guardian Australia has reported (6th October) that three West Papuans have occupied the Australian consulate in Bali to demand the Indonesian government treat them like human beings.
Summary of events in West Papua. September beginning Oct. 2013
West Papuans have occupied the Australian consulate in Bali
The Guardian Australia has reported (6th October) that three West Papuans have occupied the Australian consulate in Bali to demand the Indonesian government treat them “like human beings”. Markus Jerewon, 29, Yuvensius Goo, 22 and Rofinus Yanggam, 30, scaled the two-metre high fence of the Australian compound in Bali’s Renon district at 3.20am local time (6.20am AEST) on Sunday morning. They called on the Abbott government to pressure Indonesia to release all Papuan political prisoners and open the secretive province to foreign journalists. Yanggam told Guardian Australia the group intends to stay inside the consulate until their demands are met. They fear for their lives if they are expelled by Australia. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/06/west-papuans-australian-consulate-bali World leaders are meeting in Bali for the APEC summit.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visits Indonesia
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Indonesia at the end of September and no surprises that asylum seeker boats and trade were top of his agenda. Also no surprise to hear the mantra of “we respect Indonesian sovereignty” or the statement from the PM “I admire and respect what you and your government have done to improve the autonomy and the life of the people of West Papua and I am confident that they can have the best possible life and the best possible future as a part of an indissoluble Indonesia, as an integral part of Indonesia.” http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/tony-abbotts-visit-to-indonesia-a-real-statesman-in-the-making/ AWPA’s response at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/media-release-pm-abbott-should-visit.html
Vanuatu Prime Minister raises West Papua issue at the UN
The Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Kalosil Carcasses raised the West Papuan issue at the UN urging the UN “to appoint a Special Representative to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia and their political status” and stating “How can we then ignore hundreds of thousands of West Papuans who have been brutally beaten and murdered? The people of West Papua are looking to the UN as a beacon for hope… Let us, my colleague leaders, with the same moral conviction yield our support to the plight of West Papuans. It is time for the United Nation to move beyond its periphery and address and rectify some historical error.” http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=46117&Cr=indonesia&Cr1=#.UketvxbGHHh
A consultation titled “Human Rights and Peace for Papua” was held in Geneva hosted by the World Council of Churches. It was organized by the International Coalition for Papua (ICP), a group of faith-based and civil society organizations. The event brought together a number of faith-based and civil society organizations, church leaders from Papua, peace activists and United Nations officials. It was held from 23 to 24 September in Geneva, Switzerland. It proposed that political dialogue was the only way towards peace and stability in West Papua http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/consultation-urges-protection-of-human-rights-in-papua
KNPB organized rallies for International Day of Democracy
The KNPB called for rallies to be held throughout West Papua to celebrate for International Day of Democracy (15 September) and also to show support for the MSG and for the policies of the Vanuatu Government in relation to West Papua. Although banned the rallies went ahead on the 16th in Biak, Nabire, Sorong, Wamena, Timika, Merauke, Manokwari, Jayapura, Dogiya, and Yahukimo. The response from the security forces varied in different towns. In Jayapura the rally was forcibly disbanded by the TNI and police using tear gas to break up the rally According to the KNPB records over 200 although eventually released. A brief summary of rallies (and photos) at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/a-brief-summary-of-rallies-in-various.html The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released an appeal concerning the arrests at http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-123-2013
The AHRC released two other appeals that people can respond too.
Torture of a Papuan man
The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information regarding the torture of a Papuan man by police and military officers. The victim was detained for 12 hours and subjected to beatings and whippings from which he suffered various injuries on his body. It has been reported that the victim now has difficulty in walking and using his right arm as a result of the assault. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-127-2013/?searchterm=indonesia%20papua
Shooting of a Papuan man in Nabire
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the shooting of a Papuan man in Nabire, Papua. The victim, Marthen Gobai, was shot in the head on 5 September 2013. Whereas the identity of the perpetrator is yet to be confirmed there is an allegation that the shooting was carried out by the police. http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-118-2013
The Freedom Flotilla completed its mission. While the Freedom Flotilla’s flagship the Pog sailed towards West Papua, the world watched its progress via a live satellite tracker onboard the vessel, providing a much needed distraction for the clandestine ceremony to take place in an undisclosed location off the south coast of Papua. Evading the Indonesian navy, two tiny boats met near the Australia-Indonesia border to ceremonially reconnect the indigenous peoples of Australia and West Papua. The ceremony was the pinnacle of a 5000km journey beginning in Lake Eyre, in which sacred water and ashes were carried and presented to West Papuan leaders. The cultural exchange of Indigenous elders was held in secret, due to threats made by Indonesian government ministers and military officials who had stated that the navy and air-force would “take measures” against the peaceful protest, and had not ruled out the use of lethal force. Soon to be Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had also stated that Indonesia may do “whatever it wishes” to stop the peaceful protest. Freedom Flotillia web page http://freedomflotillawestpapua.org
Seven West Papuans deported
Seven West Papuans, including a pregnant woman and a child, who were connected to the Flotilla and fleeing persecution by the Indonesian security forces arrived on Boigu Island in the Torres Straits. They were transferred to Horn Island and after interviews were promised they would be flown to the Australian mainland but they were tricked and flown to PNG. http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/media-release-west-papuans-should-be.html A report on SBS said the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison diluted an MOU with PNG so the West Papuans could be sent back. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/10/04/morrison-dilutes-png-deal-deport-west-papuans They were calls and rallies urging the Government to allow the West Papuans to remain. West Papua Action in Auckland and the The Dutch Foundation Pro Papua also wrote to the Australian representative in their countries urging that the situation should be revisited and the asylum seekers given the option to test their legal rights under the Refugee Convention to claim asylum and protection in Australia.
Indonesian police open fire on civilians in West Papua One person is said to have been killed and at least two others injured on Monday when Indonesian riot police opened fire on civilians in Waghete,West Papua. Guardian report at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/25/indonesian-police-civilians-west-papua
Papuans apologise for attack on Red Crescent ambulance.
A newspaper in Papua has published a letter from the Papuan Freedom Movement apologising to the Indonesian Red Crescent for shooting 3 of the organisation’s volunteers in July this year. The letter in Bintang Papua is signed by two commanders of the movement’s military wing, the OPM. They say shots were fired at an ambulance at a time when the Indonesian army was carrying out operations in Puncak Jaya. One man died in the shooting and two others were hurt. The commanders say the person who did the shooting thought the vehicle belonged to the Indonesian military. RNZI 19 September 2013
Sorong to Samari petition campaign
The Governor of Port Moresby and Human rights lawyer and staunch Free West Papua Advocate Powes Parkop launched the Sorong to Samari petition campaign. He was a West Papua activist when he was studying law at UPNG. Now, returning as the Governor of the Nation’s capital, that fight has grown even stronger. He said for 50 years West Papuans have been suppressed on their own land. Now it’s time for Papua new Guineans to mobilise and speak on behalf of our Melanesian family across the border. He revealed pertinent facts, including the fact that West Papua was never part of Indonesia during pre-colonial times. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7sDZgmqaFE
Opinion pieces/ press releases/articles/reports etc.
A SLOW-MOTION GENOCIDE: INDONESIAN RULE IN WEST PAPUA
DR JIM ELMSLIE AND DR CAMELLIA WEBB-GANNON
2) Media release from WPNCL re PM of Vanuatu raising West Papuan issue at UN
AWPA media releases
Media release-No democracy in West Papua -rally banned
Media release- Rallies will go ahead although banned by police.
AWPA letter to Prime Minister Abbott and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop re their trip to Indonesia
West Papuans should be granted refuge
New Matilda: Australia Blind And Deaf On Papua
West Papua Advocacy Team report for October at
Breakthrough imminent in Indonesia?
O’Neill’s plan to defuse standoff over West Papua
An Educator’s Heroic Journey to Change Gender Relations in Papua
By Olga Amato on 9:10 am September 22, 2013.
What will the West Papua flotilla mean for Australia-Indonesia relations?
13 September 2013, 2.10pm AEST
Where is Aristoteles Masoka? Papuans call on UN to take action
Press release, Elsham Papua, IKOHI and TAPOL
26 September 2013
Papua Ablaze! The Need for a Touch of Hearts
Wednesday, 18 September 2013, 6:01 pm
Article: Selpius Bobii – Front Pepera Papua Barat
Jakarta s Warmer Ties with Melanesian States
Saturday 28 September 2013
The Straits Times (Singapore) Bruce Gale, Senior Writer
The failure of education in Papua’s highlands
Special Autonomy is widely regarded as a failure, but its impact on Papua’s schools has been even worse than expected.
Inside Indonesia. Bobby Anderson
It’s time for some straight talking about human rights in Papua
September 29, 2013 Tom Clarke