Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088
Media release 1 May 2012
A people betrayed
Forty nine years ago today, the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) transferred administration of the Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea to Indonesia. From the moment Indonesia took over the administration from UNTEA, the oppression of the West Papuan people began and forty nine years later the oppression continues and so does the struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination.
The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) plans to hold a number of peaceful rallies to protest the handover but the police have refused permission. The Head of public relations for the Papuan Police said he expects that KNPB to respect the authorities. He also said if the KNPB staged a demo it would conduct surveillance on the demonstrators.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, we keep hearing how Indonesian is now a democracy yet
in the past year the Indonesian security forces conducted numerous military operations throughout West Papua. In October 2011 there was the crackdown on the 3rd Papuan Peoples congress where security forces used excessive force when arresting up to 300 Papuans. Up to six people were reported killed and five of the organisers arrested and charged with treason. They received three years in prison for subversion. Large numbers of rallies also took place with people calling for a true act of self-determination.
If Indonesian was truly a democracy political prisoners such as Filep Karma and Forkorus Yaboisembet would not be in jail for simply being part of rallies where the Morning Star flag was raised. Indonesian should release all political prisoners immediately as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people and governments including the Australia one should be encouraging Jakarta to do so.