Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
Summary of events in West Papua for April -(3 May) 2015
Crackdown on rallies on the 1 May throughout West Papua
On the 1 May in 1963, 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 52 years later the oppression continues and so does the struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination. A large number of rallies and memorial services (many organized by the KNPB and supported by ULMWP) were held throughout West Papua to commemorate and protest the original handover when the international community failed in their responsibility to the West Papuan people. The security forces arrested a large number of demonstrators during the rallies. Approximately 150 in Manokwari, 30 in Jayapura, 16 in Merauke, 2 in Kaimana, 2 in Fak Fak and 3 in Surabaya. The number of those arrested varies in several reports with one local media article reporting 269 arrested in total including 2 shot in Nabire. The security forces also intimidated KNPB members leading up to the 1 May. 12 activists were arrested in Manokwari while handing out leaflets calling for a peaceful demonstration to commemorate May 1 as the Day of the annexation of Papua. The police have released those arrested in Jayapura. At this stage it is not known if those arrested in other areas have also been released. A KNPB report at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/update-on-rallies-on-1-may-in-west-papua.html Further updates will be posted in AWPA’s blog http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au
Global day of action
The 29 April was nominated as a global day of action for West Papua by TAPOL in London. Demonstrations were held around the world calling on the Indonesian President to allow open access for journalists and human rights organisations to West Papua. http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/west-papua-global-protests-22-countries-call-end-media-blackout-9250
Three events were held in Sydney. At the Indonesian Consulate, at Sydney’s Town Hall Square and at the Uniting Church in Leichhardt. A letter to the Indonesian President signed by up to 50 organisations and parlimantarians urged the Government of Indonesia to:
· Remove all restrictions on visits by foreign journalists to West Papua, and on freedom of movement within Papua, including the system by which visa applications are vetted by a clearing house of government departments.
· Provide access for international humanitarian and human rights organisations to conduct their work, without fear of restriction, harassment or arrest and in accordance with international human rights standards.
· Allow free and unrestricted access for all UN Special Rapporteurs wishing to visit and report on Papua. In particular, the Government of Indonesia should issue an invitation to Mr David Kaye, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and
Expression, as was pledged during the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2012.· Take steps to end violence and intimidation against journalists in West Papua,
investigate allegations of violence, and prosecute those suspected of involvement. Letter at
AWPA also handed in a copy of the letter to the consulate addressed to the Indonesia ambassador in Australia.
The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (UNLMWP) spokespeople have continued to lobby the MSG leaders in support of their application for membership. They have also been encouraging the people and civil society groups in the MSG countries to let their leaders know that they have their peoples support for West Papua’s application for membership. The general secretary of the ULMWP has been in Solomon Islands to lobby support for his organisation's bid to join the MSG. The Solomon Star reported that Octo Mote met civil society groups, West Papua sympathisers and political leaders, telling them that the support of everyone is important for advancing the MSG bid. In Kanaky (New Caledonia) Rex Rumakiek and Amatus Douw met with FLNKS leaders and the Kanak solidarity group in Noumea as part of the ongoing lobbying. Solidarity groups have released a video and poster for use (particularly in the MSG countries) to help raise awareness of West Papua’s campaign for MSG membership. Poster at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lfr5e94m9c3ud9p/AAAW2_Qqd6jehdfXhTaL5_LFa?dl=0 Video. To download the high-resolution version (35mb) click on this link:https://www.dropbox.com/s/j2yhd1g2a4askc9/WPMSG%20animation1.mp4?dl=0.
New footage of West Papua massacre casts spotlight on military abuses
Minority Rights Group International Published on Apr 8, 2015
(London, UK) – New video footage showing the bloody aftermath of the ‘Paniai massacre’ in West Papua highlights the urgent need for Indonesia to hold an independent and transparent investigation into the tragedy, Minority Rights Group International (MRG) reported. Video footage at
Vale Moses Havini
Many of you will have known Moses Havini. It is with great sadness that we report he passed away at Westmead Hospital on the 2nd May. Our condolences go to his wife Marilyn, family and his many friends.
Vanuatu says Indonesian aid has no bearing on Papua issue
RNZI 9 April. The Vanuatu government says the Indonesian government's relief assistance will have no bearing on the West Papuan bid to become a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Vanuatu's Foreign Affairs Minister Sato Kilman says he personally received the aid relief donations from a delegation from Indonesia on Tuesday. Mr Kilman was Prime Minister of Vanuatu in 2012 when the government controversially forged a co-operation agreement with Jakarta, although subsequent configurations of government have stepped back from closer links. Howerer, the Foreign Minister says at this stage, Vanuatu will welcome assistance from any country. "In my view it had nothing to do with the West Papuan issue, Vanuatu has diplomatic relations with Jakarta and this is a humanitarian issue and whoever has the heart to be able to give and donate to Vanuatu to help this reconstruction. It's a welcoming thing for Vanuatu." Vanuatu Foreign Minister Sato Kilman.
Vanuatu to open embassy in Jakarta
Vanuatu's foreign minister Sato Kilman has reportedly indicated that his government is to open an embassy in Indonesia's capital. Mr Kilman confirmed this to local media while in Jakarta for the Asia-Africa Conference, a gathering of 77 countries for discussions on development and co-operation programmes between developing countries. He said that the opening of an embassy would happen as soon as possible and strengthen co-operation between the two countries. However, Vanuatu's prime minister downplayed the suggestion made by the Indonesian foreign minister that it was poised to open an embassy in Indonesia. Joe Natuman says there is no such policy direction at present as his government has more pressing issues to attend to right now. The statement follows reports from Jakarta that the visiting foreign minister, Sato Kilman, indicated that Vanuatu wanted to open a mission as soon as possible to strengthen co-operation between the two countries. But Mr Natuman says given Vanuatu's firm position on West Papua and its stance against alleged human rights abuses there, Vanuatu will need to weigh up all sides before taking its diplomatic relations with Indonesia to the next level.
West Papuan delegates arrested after Jakarta meeting
RNZI 16 April 2015
A delegation of West Papuan representatives has been arrested after claiming they were told by an Indonesian minister that it is time for negotiation about West Papua. Tabloid Jubi reports that the six Papuans, including members of the Papua Customary Council, or KIP, went to Jakarta and met informally with the Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu. However the KIP delegates were then arrested on treason charges after holding a press conference upon their return to Papua's provincial capital Jayapura. A police spokesman said the arrests follow instruction from Papua's Police Chief to deal strictly with organisations which threaten Indonesia's sovereignty. Earlier, according to KIP delegate Don Flassy, the Minister had told them that there should be no more talk about Free Papua, but instead, negotiation. The reason for the KIP trip was to follow up on letters sent to Indonesia's President by the President of the so-called Federal Republic of West Papua, Forkorus Yaboisembut, regarding his organisation's declaration of independence for West Papua.
Police Detain Papua Commander, Shoot Suspect in Legs
Jakarta Globe By Robertus Wardhy Apr 30, 2015
Jayapura. Papua Police arrested three members of the outlawed Free Papua Movement organization in the country’s easternmost province on Thursday, shooting a rebel commander in the legs and detaining two fighters. Papua Police spokesman Patridge Renwarin told the Jakarta Globe that the police’s special task force had nabbed Leonardus Magai, a commander of Paniai chapter of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) at around 10.45 a.m. local time along with two other members. Patridge said that police officers were chasing five OPM members in a car in Sanoba Atas village in Nabire district, Papua. Police said Leonardus was shot in both knees after the men opened fire on police. “We arrested Leonardus and his two other friends, but the remaining two members managed to get away,” said Patridge. Leonardus is currently being treated at Nabire District Hospital for his injuries, Patridge said. The OPM, which is seeking independence for Papua from Indonesian rule, has waged a low-level guerrilla war against state security forces since Papua was annexed in 1969.
West Papua to get new Kodam
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Archipelago | Tue, April 07 2015
The construction of the headquarters of a new military command (Kodam) in West Papua is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih chief Maj. Gen. Fransen G. Siahaan said on Tuesday. The new Kodam headquarters is located in Manokwari, the provincial capital of West Papua. Currently Kodam XVII/Cenderawasih oversees both West Papua and Papua provinces. Fransen said the new Kodam would be named Kodam XVIII/Kasuari, adding that a native Papuan was expected to become the first Kodam commander. "Currently there are two Papuans who hold the rank of general and one colonel," he said as quoted by Antara news agency. According to Fransen, Brig. Gen. Ones Wayangkau is currently the chief of staff of Kodam V/Brawijaya in Surabaya, East Java; Brig. Gen. Herman Asaribab is deputy commander of the Army's Infantry Warfare Center (Pussenif) in Bandung, West Jakarta; and Col. Hamdan Ali Bogra is still studying at the National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas) in Jakarta. Fransen added that he had not only prepared the physical infrastructure but also the personnel who would be posted at the new Kodam. He said the Kodam XVIII/Kasuari would oversee two military regional commands(Korem): Korem 171/Praja Vira Tama headquartered in Sorong and Korem 173/Praja Vira Braja headquartered in Biak, Papua. The new headquarters is being built on an area of 60 hectares, which houses Rifle companies C and D of the 752nd Vira Yudha Sakti Infantry Battalion. The companies will be relocated to Warmare district, Manokwari regency, West Papua. (nvn)(++++)
Intel move when activists unfurl a banner
Statement by the Executive Director of the LP3BH, Yan Christian
Warinussy on 29th April 2015.
On 29 April at 10am, some staff members of the LP3BH, Semuel Harun Yensenem (head of the Department of Education and Legal Studies),
Ferry Manufandu, head of the Information and Documentation Division were hanging out a long banner which bore the words: We support and call on the government of Indonesia to immediately allow access to the Land of Papua for international journalists, human rights organisations from around the world. We unfurled the banner in front of a window facing Jalan Raya Gunung Saldji. Our decision to hang that banner was to show that the LP3BH fully supports the international campaign which was taking place around the world with activists demonstrating in front of Indonesian embassies in many countries. Of course, we knew what would happen then. Our banner would attract the attention of the intelligence units of the army and the police. Earlier that day when Semuel Yensenem was working in the LP3BH office, he went out to buy food for the evening from a stall in front of the LP3BH office which sells chicken and fish dishes. He noticed that there was a vehicle with a police number plate that was parked in front of Toko Shalom and he saw several policemen get out of the vehicle and stand there for a couple of seconds looking at the LP3BH office. They then went to a shop nearby to buy some food.
Semuel didn't see them any more but he later saw the vehicle reverse and drive in the direction of Fanindi Makalew. On Thursday, at about 10am, I received a phone call from Pauwilona Marisan, a member of the LP3BH staff, informing me that there was a staff member of the 12703 Command from Kodim [the local military command] Manokwari who wanted to meet me and who was at that moment chatting with Semuel Yensenem. I had just returned from a visit to Manokwari Hospital for a routine check up. When I entered my office, Semuel was talking to the military officer who was wearing a black jacket, dark green trousers and black boots. This officer who was speaking Indonesian with a Javanese accent asked Semuel about the LP3BH and wanted to know who was financing our organisation. They also asked where the staff came from, what were our\ activities, how many staff members there were and whether they were government officials (PNS). Our friend gave them the usual answers. Then I heard him ask the officer to sit down and meet the Director but the officer declined and decided to leave our office. While this was happening, I was sitting at our meeting table which was a couple of metres from where they had been sitting. This is what happened here at our office in Manokwari on that day.
The day before, there was an action when students from a college in Manokwari went to the office of the Papuan People's Council of West Papua (Majelis Rakyat Papua) to tell them what their opinion was regarding the present situation. Before that, they had made a long march but the security forces ordered them to disperse, saying that they did not have a permit. As a result, the security forces starting to take violent action against the students and prevented them for continuing their march. Then four of the students were held and taken to the headquarters of the police in Manokwari, interrogated and then ordered to draft a statement. After that the students were released in the afternoon. Peace. [Translated by Carmel Budiardjo]
AJI declares police enemies of press freedom
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, May 03 2015, 2:27 PM -
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) named the police enemies of press freedom for the fourth time during an event held to commemorate World Press Freedom Day on Sunday. "We declare the police enemies of press freedom, with 11 reported attacks on journalists by police from May 2014 to May 2015," said AJI advocacy department head Iman D Nugroho in Menteng Park, Central Jakarta, on Sunday. The attacks allegedly committed by the police topped the 37 recorded attacks against journalists from 2014 to 2015. Apart from the police, several security personnel, some citizens, a city council member and a doctor were reported to have committed violence against journalists. The police were first called enemies of press freedom in 2007 The police were also seen as having failed to bring justice in murder cases involving eight journalists, including Muhammad Fuad Syafrudin, a journalist from Yogyakarta's Bernas daily. The AJI highlighted that police had continued to criminalize journalists despite the 1999 Press Law and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Police chief and the Press Council, in which the police agreed to hand over cases involving journalism to the council. "The police do not seem to understand the job of journalists. All journalists should be protected, not subjected to violence," said AJI head Suwarjono on the sidelines of the event. (fsu))
Opinion pieces/reports/press releases etc.
The day the international community betrayed a people
West Papua - Return to Melanesia
AWPA congratulates the People and Government of Vanuatu on receiving the John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award for 2015.
West Papua-Lest we forget
Video at the United Nations.
Menase Wonggor Kaisiepo, Kobe Oser Organization delivering statement regarding West Papua at United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at General Assembly Hall UN Headquarter.
Hope On the Horizon For A West Papua Free Of Indonesian Abuses
The Other Victims of State Sanctioned Murder In Indonesia
West Papua Oil Palm Atlas – The companies behind the plantation explosion
Govt to revive food estate project in Papua
Commentary: Asia, Africa and the Unresolved Question of Papua