Wednesday, May 4, 2016

1) Most West Papua detainees released

2) Declaration in London for supervised vote on West Papua
3) Media Release: Mass Arrests in West Papua.
4) West Papua – ‘a nation in waiting’: Behind this week’s uprising 
5) WEST PAPUA: Westminster meeting makes new declaration for the future

6) Pray For West Papua – the first doc on Octo Mote’s struggle

7) “Invisible Project” Comes to Papuan Women Market Development
8) President Jokowi Wants Depapre Seaport to Be Hub for Export-Import Activities

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1) Most West Papua detainees released


2:27 pm today
Most of the hundreds of West Papuans arrested by Indonesian police for participating in widespread demonstrations two days ago have been released.

Indonesian security forces hold demonstrators Photo: Tabloid Jubi
Local media reports say as many as 1,700 people were arrested in demos across all of the main Papuan cities, as well as Semarang and Makassar.
They were demonstrating support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid to be a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, as well as the International Parliamentarians for West Papua summit held in London this week.
Journalist Victor Mambor from Papua's Tabloid Jubi newspaper says about eight people are still detained in Merauke, Fakfak and Wamena.
He says while there was a more restrained conduct of police forces in handling the demonstrations compared with similar events in the past, the number of arrests was massive.
Indonesian police at a demonstration in the Papuan region Photo: Supplied / Whens Tebay
Mr Mambor says this caused logistical problems in Jayapura where police arrested far more people than they could fit in the police stations, so they opted to hold them at the Mobile Brigade headquarters.
"I think because they have a big space there. But you know, they put them in the field, in the sun in the middle of the midday. It's very hot. They told them to take all of their tee-shirts (off)."
Monday's demonstrations across Papua followed similar demonstrations across Papua three weeks ago.
One of the main representative groups in the Liberation Movement, the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, has been central to the organisation of the demonstrations.
Police say that the KNPB requested permission to hold this week's demonstrations and failed to meet the requirements, but they proceeded anyway.
Monday's mass mobilisations are unlikely to be the last as deliberations on the West Papua membership bid at a Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders summit, expected to be held within two months, draw near.
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2) Declaration in London for supervised vote on West Papua
4:47 pm today

MPs from several Pacific countries and Britain have made a declaration in London calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.
The group, the International Parliamentarians for West Papua, were meeting at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the future of the region which is administered by Indonesia.
According to the group Free West Papua, the British opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, reiterated his support for the struggle for freedom in the region and said he would like this to be written into Labour Party policy.
The declaration said continued human rights violations in West Papua were unacceptable, it warned that without international action the Papuan people risked extinction and it reiterated the right of people to genuine self-determination.
The declaration also said the 1969 'Act of Free Choice' was a gross violation of this principle.
It called for an internationally supervised vote on self-determination in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions.
The gathering included Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Bruno Leingkone, the Melanesian Spearhead Group's Special Envoy on West Papua, Rex Horoi, Vanuatu's Lands and Natural Resources Minsiter Ralph Regenvanu, the Governor of PNG's Oro District, Gary Juffa, Lord Harries of Pentregarth from the UK House of Lords and Benny Wenda of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

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2) Media Release: Mass Arrests in West Papua.
 
West Papua Action Canterbury and And West Papua Action Auckland  call on the  Minister of Foreign Affairs to  take action over the latest mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators in West Papua
 
‘Mass arrests of activists are becoming an all too common fact of life for the people of West Papua.  But this latest wave is so large it sends an ominous signal. New Zealand should let Jakarta know in no uncertain terms that it upholds the rights of free speech and assembly.  Wellington should also press for a  fact-finding mission to the territory  in line with the Pacific Island Forum request for a mission which Jakarta has yet to respond to.’
 
‘The visit next week of West Papuan human rights defender and Church leader Rev Socratez Yoman is very timely and we are hoping  parliamentarians including Government parliamentarians will take advantage of the opportunity to meet with this important guest.’
 
For further information Maire Leadbeater  0274-436-957 and Brian Turner  021 1294305
 
Letter follows:
 
3 May 2016
 
Hon Murray McCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Parliament Buildings,
Wellington.
Fax 04  817 6510
 
Dear Mr McCully,
 
We are shocked and deeply troubled to learn of the mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators over the past few days. While security forces in West Papua have a notorious reputation for arbitrary arrests, these latest arrests are on mass scale and send an ominous signal of increased repression. 
 
We understand from numerous reports that the police have arrested  at least  500 and possibly over 1000 demonstrators during a rally in the capital Jayapura.  Reports also state that dozens were arrested in the Papuan regional centres of Merauke, Manokwari, Wamena and  Sorong and even at solidarity demonstrations in Central Java and South Sulawesi. Last month peaceful rallies held on the 13 and 29 April also ended with over 40 arrests on each occasion.
 
This severe crackdown was prompted by nothing more than peaceful demonstrations calling for popular support for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, (ULMWP) and its and its effort to reach full member status of the regional Melanesian Spearhead Group. The demonstrators also showed their support for the meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) in London on 3 May.
 
This is an outrageous situation.  The people of West Papua are entitled under international law to the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and assembly. The Indonesian authorities need to be told by all democratic governments, especially those like New Zealand who are near neighbours of West Papua, that these breaches of fundamental rights must stop. 
 
As you know the last meeting of the Pacific Island Forum resolved to request Indonesia to permit a fact-finding mission to go to the territory.  New Zealand should now pressure Jakarta to allow this mission to take place as soon as possible so that the West Papuan people can tell the outside world their stories. 
 
We are understand that your commitments currently prevent you from meeting Papuan Church leader Socratez Yoman when he visits Wellington on the 10th and 11th May but should any other Government Minister or MP be free to meet with him on your behalf we would be pleased to arrange that.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Maire Leadbeater and Brian Turner
For West Papua Action Auckland and West Papua Action Canterbury.
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4) West Papua – ‘a nation in waiting’: Behind this week’s uprising 
 


Papuan activists being transported by an Indonesian police truck from Waena, a suburb in Jayapura, to the Mobile Police Brigade's headquarters in Kotaraja. Image: We Are Moving Stories


Nearly 2000 people were arrested on Monday, 2 May 2016, in mass unarmed civilian-based uprisings across West Papua, reports We Are Moving Stories. “The Indonesian police were completely overwhelmed by the size, scale and disciplined defiance of the activists who came from a range of groups organised by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua,” says author Jason MacLeod.
Interview with Dr Jason MacLeod – Exclusive video
Dr Jason MacLeod is an authority on West Papua and author of Merdeka and the Morning Star: Civil resistance in West Papua. A Brisbane academic, he works as an organiser, educator and researcher. He has been active in the West Papua solidarity movement since 1991.
How many people were arrested on Monday? Why were they arrested?Nearly 2000 people were arrested on 2 May 2016 in mass unarmed civilian based uprisings across the country – in Jayapura, Wamena, Merauke, Manokwari, Timika, Sorong and Fak Fak.
The Indonesian police were completely overwhelmed by the size, scale and disciplined defiance of the activists who came from a range of groups organised by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
In Jayapura, for instance, activists were detained on the oval inside the mobile police brigade’s headquarters. Most people arrested were released by Monday night.
At the time of this interview 45 – including 19 children aged 8-18 – remain in detention in Fak Fak.
The Indonesian police routinely use torture against Papuan dissenters so we are concerned about their welfare. I expect the organisers will be charged with treason and rebellion later this week.
At the same time, we are noticing that Jakarta is becoming constrained, or at least uncertain of what to do, in the face of rising international support for a free West Papua, especially in the Pacific.
What does this video clip show?
The video shows activists being transported by an Indonesian police truck from Waena, a suburb in Jayapura, to the Mobile Police Brigade’s headquarters in Kotaraja, about 15-20 minutes away, where they were detained on a sports oval.
You can see fists being raised in defiance and hear them yelling “merdeka” (freedom). This is the fifth truck with activists that went past in minutes. The film was shot by a local organiser hidden behind a fence.
Why is it so difficult to see videos about what’s going on in West Papua?Foreign journalists are effectively banned from travelling to West Papua. In recent years, particularly since 2011, social media has been the quickest and most reliable way to get information out. It has only really been in the last six months that we have been able to send video out quickly.
BackgroundWest Papua is a nation in waiting, one half of the island of New Guinea, is currently occupied by Indonesia. Like East Timor, West Papuans want to be free, to determine their own political future. At least 100,000 people have been killed by the Indonesian military since they took control in 1963 but the West Papuans continue to struggle, determined to be independent.
This was first published by We Are Moving Pictures. It is republished here with permission.
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5) WEST PAPUA: Westminster meeting makes new declaration for the future
An historic day ... the Westminster Declaration on West Papua. 
Image: Free West Papua Campaign
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Item: 9647

LONDON (Free West Papua Campaign/Pacific Media Watch): An historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua was taken in London today. At a meeting of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua in the Houses of Parliament, a new declaration was made calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.
The meeting was attended and supported by Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva the Prime Minister of Tonga; Bruno Leingkone, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Vanuatu; Rex Horoi, MSG Special Envoy on West Papua, Solomon Islands; Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in Vanuatu; Gary Juffa, Governor of Oro District, Papua New Guinea; Lord Harries of Pentregarth, UK House of Lords, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the UK Opposition; and Benny Wenda, international spokesperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and several other British MPs.
The Prime Minister of Tonga offered his country’s full support for the ongoing struggle of the people of West Papua. He explained how it was the responsibility of the United Nations to ensure human rights were upheld in West Papua and how he would continue to push for this.
Jeremy Corbyn spoke of his personal interest in West Papua and his role as a UN observer in East Timor. He talked of the need for justice and human rights to be delivered to the people of West Papua and stated that the world could either continue having this conflict or could choose to live in a world of peace and justice which would come from the recognition of human rights for everybody – a cornerstone of foreign policy.

He reiterated his support for the struggle for freedom of West Papua and how he would like this to be written in the policy of the British Labour Party.
A statement by the Prime Minister of Guyana, Moses Nagamootoo was read by Melinda Janki, an international human rights lawyer. He offered his country’s ongoing support of the right to self determination for the people of West Papua.
Ralph Regenvanu told of Vanuatu’s long term support for West Papua. He spoke of how the first Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Father Walter Lini, had stated that "Vanuatu would not be truly independent while any other Melanesian country is not".

MSG commitment
He spoke of the commitment by Melanesian countries to bring West Papua into the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and that Vanuatu was working for West Papua to gain full membership of the MSG at its upcoming meeting.
Rex Horoi special envoy from the Solomon Islands highlighted the key areas of the Solomon Islands support for West Papua which involved: urgency of stopping Human rights abuse in West Papua, recognsising the political identity of the ULMWP and the strategic engagement of the Solomon Islands government with neighbours in the Pacific and around the world. He also redefined the importance of the Pacific by renaming the "small island states" as the "big ocean states".
Gary Juffa also mentioned his personal connection with the people of West Papua. He told of how his father had captained the first boat of refugees from West Papua and how he promised them that he would do everything he could to fight with them for their freedom.

He explained that regrettably PNG still recognised Indonesian sovereignty but a large movement in PNG was emerging in support of West Papuan freedom and that he would continue to be one of the main political voices of this movement.
Lord Harries remembered meeting Benny Wenda when he first came to the UK in 2003, how the issue was almost unknown at this time and what a long way it had come today with representatives from the "big ocean nations" championing the cause.

He continued to read out a statement of support by Reverend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu:
“Dear people and friends of West Papua. Please accept, from the southern tip of Africa, the love and blessings of a retired fellow-traveller for justice. Human rights and justice are universal values. It has been very heartening to witness the growth of the movement to secure justice for the people of West Papua. Your call for an internationally supervised vote to determine the will of the people of West Papua has my support. God bless you.”
Finally Benny Wenda, described his feelings around being here now after a long journey, declaring that the Indonesian occupation is illegal and must be ended now. He finished by reading out the declaration that was signed by all international parliamentarians present.
The secretary-general of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Octovianus Mote, rounded it off thanking everyone including the various generations of freedom fighters for Papua represented here.
The declaration reads as follows:
Westminster Declaration for an Internationally Supervised Vote in West Papua
 
We the undersigned Members of Parliament, being members of the International Parliamentarians For West Papua:
 
I. Declare that continued human rights violations in West Papua are unacceptable.
II. Warn that without international action the West Papuan people risk extinction.
III. Reiterate the right of the people of West Papua to genuine self-determination.
IV. Declare the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ to be a gross violation of this principle.
V. Call for an internationally supervised vote on self- determination in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolutions 1514 and 1541 (XV).
 
Palace of Westminster, the 3rd of May, 2016
 
Pacific Media Watch

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http://asiapacificreport.nz/2016/04/28/pray-for-west-papua-the-first-doco-on-octo-motes-struggle/

6) Pray For West Papua – the first doc on Octo Mote’s struggle

 April 28, 2016
West Papuans in Port Moresby calling to Christians across the world to pray for peace for West Papua earlier this year. Video: EM TV
Pray for West Papua is the first documentary about West Papuan leader Octo Mote and his fight for independence from Indonesia and gaining observer status in the Melanesian Spearhead Group in the Solomon Islands last year.
The director is Mircha Mangiacotti and producer “confidential at this stage”. A trailer for the film can be seen at Vimeo.
Made in association with the Griffith Film School, Australia, and ULMWP (United Liberation Movement for West Papua), the film is being developed and the director is looking for buyers.
We Are Moving Stories has interviewed the director Mircha Mangiacotti:
1.  Pray For West Papua will be the first film on West Papuan independence leader Octo Mote.  Why do you think we’ve had to wait so long?Independence movements in West Papua have unified under the leadership of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in December 2014. Octo Mote was elected as secretary-general and began his work in 2015. This is a fresh new start for the movement.
Octo Mote in a short for the film Pray for West Papua. Image: Vimeo still
2.   Why is the film called Pray For West Papua?This is a working title whilst at pre-production stage. West Papuans are predominantly Christian Catholics whereas Indonesians are mainly Muslims. The issue of religion is another important aspect of the struggle for independence. In the face of frustrating diplomatic efforts through convoluted United Nations protocols, the ULMWP is increasingly turning to the Church for help, hoping the Vatican would eventually apply pressure on Indonesia.
3.  Why do you think the tide is beginning to turn when it comes to West Papua?
For decades, the world has been kept in the dark about West Papua. Through a total media ban on the island, the Indonesian government has managed to keep the ongoing genocide a secret, also with the complicity of mainstream Western media. This is now changing as news is beginning to trickle out via alternative media. This is why documentaries like these are important and necessary: the public needs to be informed so that meaningful action can be taken.

4.  Can you describe the filming you?ve done and what you hope to film in the coming year?Over the past year, I spent quite some time with Octo and other ULMWP leaders, I worked closely with various Australian support groups, and I’ve attended the MSG meeting in the Solomon Islands in June 2015. I have extensive footage of meetings, events, rallies, interviews, archival material etc., which culminated in two 10-minute shorts released last year.
I’m hoping to dig deeper into the story over the next two years, following Octo around the world in his diplomatic efforts, working with West Papuan filmmakers to document the atrocities and interviewing key political and religious figures here in Australia.
5.  Will you also include footage from inside West Papua and include other West Papuan leaders like Benny Wenda?Yes, both.
6.  What type of feedback have you received so far about the film?
Generally, viewers who have never heard about West Papua tell me they are moved by the films and angry about the situation. Most people would like to find out more about the main characters, and their personal stories.
7. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?Not really.
8.  What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?I’m hoping to initiate a dialogue with people who might be interested in collaborating with me on this ambitious project.

West Papuan activists and their supporters at the Melanesian Spearhead Group summit in Honiara last year. Image: Mircha Mangiacotti
9.  Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?I have a producer. Working with a distributor would be the most important thing, but it would also be great to engage with potential buyers.
10. What type of impact would you like this film to have?I would like to make a film that is informative yet accessible, telling the story in a way that moves people. I also hope the film could serve as a call for action.
11. Lastly, what’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this issue and film?
Will West Papua ever be Free?
This article was first published on We Are Moving Stories and has been republished here with permission.
Two short docos on West Papua by the director:

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7) “Invisible Project” Comes to Papuan Women Market Development
2 May 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – A banner announcing a plan to build a hotel in the midst of a market development project for Papuan women traders have been questioned by the traders.
“We don’t know about the hotel. Please ask those who want to build this market,” said Mrs. Yuliana Pigay when being asked about the hotel. Mrs. Pigay who during the time was struggling to materialize the market for women traders said she only recognized the market-building plan, because it is only the thing they fought for under the assistance of Solpap.
The hotel development project, according to the Secretary of  the Solidarity for Indigenous Papuan Traders (Solpap) Robert Jitmau suddenly appeared when President Joko Widodo laid the first stone to mark the market development.
“The president also did not mention about the hotel in his speech. Throughout our struggle for the market, we never talk about a hotel. Better ask Presidential Staff Office or Indonesian State Owned Enterprise (BUMN) Ministry who are responsible for hotel development,” said Jitmau.
Deputy V of President Staff Office Jaleswari Pramowardhani when asked about the hotel on Saturday (30/4/2016) said she already asked BUMN Minister Rini Soewandi. According to Jaleswari, the minister explained about the regulation on the State’s asset that require the BUMN Ministry to build a hotel at the same location with the market for women traders. “Hotel would be set on location opposite to Jayapura Municipal Police Office,” said Jaleswari.
Disappointment Remains
Amid the excitement of Papuan women traders after Jokowi laid the first stone of market building on Saturday (30/4/2016) there remains disappointment among them.
“We are happy because DAMRI (State-run Bus Company) office was finally paved down. We came to DAMRI several times but they said they don’t know either. So, when it was paved down, we are very happy. Moreover the president himself came to pave the first stone. But we also disappointed because we couldn’t talk to him directly to thank him,” said Mrs. Dolfince, one of hundreds Papuan women traders who sell in the temporary market for Papuan women traders. Mrs. Dolfince said they only want to thank to the president directly.
“We have prepared our speech for it, but it didn’t realized. Well, fine, the important thing is Damri has been paved down,” said Mrs. Dolfince.
Apparently, to welcome the President Widodo, Papuan women traders have practiced dancing for four nights. They did it after working, from 10 to midnight since 26 April. But their hope couldn’t be realized. The dancing had never been shown.
“The dance was an expression of our gratitude to the president. We practiced every night after working. We disappointed because we cannot show the dance to the president. But fine, perhaps we can show it later at the market launching,” said Mrs. Pigay. (Victor Mambor/rom)
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8) President Jokowi Wants Depapre Seaport to Be Hub for Export-Import Activities
2 May 2016

Jayapura, Jubi – President Joko Widodo said he wanted Depapre Container Port and Sorong Seaport to be hubs for export and import activities in Papua.
“Therefore Papua and Papua Barat should not rely on other seaports outside of Papuato run their industrial export-import activities,” he said at Depapre Seaport, Jayapura on Saturday (30/4/2016).
However, he admitted it takes time to turn Depapre Seaport into such a hub. But now upgrading work has started.
According to Jayapura Regent Matius Awoitau it wasn’t only for goods loading and unloading but also to cover other activities at the seaport which supported by some investors who have invested in the industrial sector.
“Our target in 2013 this seaport will ready be the main seaport to replace the seaport in Jayapura. And some investors would run their activities in the industrial sector in the seaport,” he added.
The activities running by investors are including the timber industry, cement and other industries.
“During the time, loading activities were running at Jayapura Seaport, and after loading the industrial products from outside of Papua was done, the containers would return empty while the price of empty container is equal with the price of local goods here. Therefore, the industrial activities are needed in the seaport so the containers would not return empty,” he said.
He also expected this biggest seaport in Papua could improve the resources of income for the local community at the coastal area of Tanah Merah and Jayapura.
“Some fields of job would certainly open, because this seaport would not only serve Jayapura Regency, but also a number of regencies in Papua that could used it as a place of suppliers or good exchange. It is our opportunity to improve the economic sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the same place, President Joko Widodo told reporters that the construction of Depapre Seaport would be financed through Provincial and Regional Budget and National Budget as well.
“This seaport would be built by the Indonesian State Owned Enterprise as well as the existing Regional State Owned Enterprise, thus we expect in the future all sea networks could be connected through this seaport. We have seen the infrastructure of road. It is ongoing process by the local government, and it should not be longer to be used,” said Widodo. (Engel Wally/rom)

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