Thursday, June 30, 2016

1) The Urgent Cry For Help From West Papua


2) Churches express solidarity with West Papua independence campaigners
3) GUEST BLOG: Maire Leadbetter – West Papua: Human rights abuses cannot be hidden
4  ) More intimidation of activists as anniversary approaches  
5) Why not open up the Island of New Guinea?  
6) Human trafficking convict undergoes trial in Biak court
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1) The Urgent Cry For Help From West Papua
By Adam Boland -  July 1, 2016
Prominent West Papuan religious leader Benny Giay believes Pacific countries might offer the last hope to save his people.
During an emotional interview with Pasifik News from Jayapura, Dr Giay predicted the Papuan culture could disappear within decades.
“Almost everyday, our people are dying. Almost everyday. Papuans are not being taken into consideration by Indonesia. Nothing is being done to secure our future.”

He says he’s constantly receiving reports of women and children starving to death and claims Jakarta turns a blind eye, preferring instead to focus on infrastructure and services for the influx of non-Papuan migrants.
“These are anti-Papuan development policies,” says Dr Giay.
He spoke out as member states of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) consider awarding full membership status to the United Liberation Movement of West Papua.
Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands will push strongly for the move at a summit of leaders in Honiara on July 14.
Dr Giay hopes the MSG can pressure Indonesia to hold formal talks about the plight of the Papuan people.
“We need a third party to talk to Jakarta. Papuans don’t trust Indonesians and Indonesians don’t trust Papuans. That’s why we need a third party to moderate,” he says.
Climate of fear
That distrust continues to be fuelled by reports of human rights violations.

Just this week, a West Papuan student was killed while riding his motorbike in Nabire city.
Indonesian authorities insist the death of 18-year-old Owen Pekei was the result of a traffic accident but his relatives say he was shot in the head. Photos have emerged on social media that seem to support the family’s claim.
Witnesses reported seeing Pekei being pursued by security forces, apparently for carrying a bag emblazoned with the outlawed Morning Star pro-independence symbol.
Lack of media freedom
Stories like that aren’t uncommon but are hard to verify because of the continuing crackdown on journalists in the region.
In May last year, Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced with much fanfare that foreign reporters would be allowed to travel unhindered to the region.
But correspondents are still finding it hard to get visitor permits and those who have been say they were closely monitored.
Earlier this year, French journalist Cyril Payen was told he would not be allowed to return after a documentary he made about the region was aired on France 24.
Things aren’t much easier for local journalists.
The Urgent Cry For Help From West Papua
Prominent West Papuan religious leader Benny Giay believes Pacific countries might offer the last hope to save his people.
Last month, Jayapura police stopped them from covering a pro-independence demonstration with threats of arrest.
“President Joko Widodo’s promises now sound emptier than ever,” says Benjamin Isma├»l from Reporters Without Borders. “Authorities continue to censor and control media coverage arbitrarily.”
Silence from Australia
Peter Arndt from the Australian-based Catholic Justice and Peace Commission says that lack of transparency reduces the urgency of other countries to act.
“Last month, we saw police in Papua New Guinea shoot at students. That received instant media coverage around the world,” he says. “Within hours, you saw Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop holding a press conference and calling for human rights to be respected. Yet there is absolute silence about the continuing human rights violations in West Papua.”
Mr Arndt says Australia’s reluctance to off-side Indonesia is taking a major toll.
“How many Papuan mothers and fathers have to bury their murdered children before our Government shows a shred of decency and human compassion?”
He thinks Australia should be following the example of West Papua’s Melanesian neighbours.
“Countries like the Solomon Islands are helping to raise awareness through their actions at the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Hopefully that leads to action.”
Dr Giay has hope of that too but is realistic.
“Papuans are losing their identity. We are losing our lives. Papua is a land of mourning. There’s been too much silence. I just hope it’s not too late.”
(Officials from the Indonesian Government were approached for comment but said they wouldn’t be available until after July 11.)
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2) Churches express solidarity with West Papua independence campaigners
Posted on: June 30, 2016 9:12 AM

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The increasing tensions in Indonesian West Papua has attracted the attention of both the World Council of Churches’ Central Committee and the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea.
Sovereignty over West Papua has been disputed since the demise of the Netherlands East Indies in the 1940s. Indonesia claimed sovereignty over all of the former colony but the Dutch retained control over West Papua. Indonesia invaded the island in the 1960s and a later UN-brokered peace deal resulted in 1,000 “elders” electing to become part of Indonesia.
But the result of the “Act of Free Choice” has been disputed – with pro-independence campaigners saying that the elders who took part in the election were hand-picked by Indonesia and forced to vote unanimously for Indonesian control.
There has been growing calls for independence despite a crackdown on protest activity. Recently, police arrested more than 1,000 protestors who took part in a pro-independence march. International journalists are not allowed into the province and reports indicate that local journalists covering protests are harassed and blocked by police and military officials.
Archbishop Clyde Igara, Primate of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, said that week that the bishops of the PNG church “spoke in support of our Melanesian brothers and sisters of West Papua” during their recent meeting.
“The constitution of the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea affirms the dignity of human life and the need to show respect for all people,” he said. “The bishops wish to express on behalf of the Anglican Church the hope that the Governments of Papua New Guinea and of West Papua will make every effort to give freedom to the many displaced people of West Papua to settle and re-establish their sense of livelihood; their homes and gardens.”
The Papua New Guinea bishops welcomed their government’s decision to give citizenship to West Papuans living in PNG. “We are clear that it is a Gospel imperative that we must ‘love the Lord our God and secondly to love our neighbours as ourselves’”, Archbishop Igara said. “Therefore we stand in solidarity with the people of West Papua.”
Meanwhile, at their meeting in Trondheim, Norway, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches called on member churches to “pray and act in support of Christian witness in the region.”
The Committee also requested that an international ecumenical delegation be sent to the region “as soon as possible” in order to “demonstrate the ecumenical movement’s accompaniment of the churches in the region, to hear the voices of the victims of violence and human rights violations, and to pursue the pilgrimage of justice and peace in this context.”
The Indonesian government says that “any solution to the issue must be within the framework of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.
“It is important to stress that Indonesia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and multi-linguistic nation with ‘unity in diversity’ as its moto. It is therefore important to find common ground to bridge differences among its peoples as differences are common in democratic societies throughout the world.”
It suggests increased regional autonomy in the region, which it calls Irian Jaya, and warns that “Problems arising of the province . . . have to be dealt with on a national basis and the Government would view any attempt to disrupt Indonesia’s sovereignty over Irian Jaya as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.”

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3) GUEST BLOG: Maire Leadbetter – West Papua: Human rights abuses cannot be hidden
By The Daily Blog  /   June 30, 2016  /   No Comments
It is time that New Zealand recognised the obvious – Indonesia’s repressive rule has not extinguished West Papuan aspirations for freedom. We turned our backs on the people fifty years ago, but we have the chance to do better now. We could start by backing the call for a Pacific fact-finding mission and urging Indonesia to stop arresting peaceful demonstrators.
 The Indonesian Government has developed strategies for avoiding international criticism over its appalling human rights record in West Papua. One strategy is to keep the outside world out and ensure that approved visitors such as journalists and diplomats are carefully guided and get to meet with the ‘right’ people. With variations this technique has served Indonesia well since it took over the territory back in 1963.
However, this strategy is not working out so well just now. It is the digital age and you can’t arrest thousands of people; a record –breaking two thousand in May and over one thousand in June- and hope the word won’t get out. In May the arrested demonstrators were videoed as they were herded into a police compound, stripped to the waist and forced to stay for hours under the burning sun. What was their offence? The peaceful demonstrators were simply carrying placards supporting international initiatives such as the drive to have the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP) recognised as a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). That would be an important step-up from the current ULMWP status as an MSG observer.
The Solomon Islands envoy in Geneva, Barrett Salato, gave a moving address recently to the United Nations Human Rights Council in which he drew attention to the arrests. He also backed the call (endorsed by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua and others) for an internationally supervised referendum so that the people could choose whether or not they want to stay with Indonesia. The Vanuatu delegate joined Mr Salato in calling for Indonesia to allow both the UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and a Pacific Islands Forum fact finding mission to visit.
Indonesia has also perfected a distraction strategy – ‘nothing to see there – look here instead’. The Minister for Political and, Security Affairs, Luhut Pandjaitan, is on this tack. He has appointed a new team to investigate historic human rights abuses. The move is controversial and a number of Church and human rights leaders are opposed to Pandjaitan’s initiative because, as one pointed out, ‘the state can’t judge the state’. Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission (Komnas Ham) has turned down the invitation to take part, saying it prefers to maintain its independence. Undeterred, Minister Pandjaitan took a small group of regional Ambassadors, including the New Zealand Ambassador, Trevor Matheson, on his latest visit to West Papua to promote his plan.
Thus far we don’t know what our Ambassador made it of it all. Luhut Pandjaitan has been careful to emphasise that these Ambassadors were not on a ‘fact-finding mission’, so it is unlikely that the Ambassadors saw any sign of dissent or met any activists.
In the early 1960s the people of West Papua were looking forward to eventual independence and the Dutch colonial administration was working on training administrators and handing over some legislative control. Many hoped for eventual union with the other half of New Guinea Island, today’s Papua New Guinea. New Zealand supported these plans until 1962 when the US brokered an Agreement between the Dutch and Indonesia which handed control of the territory to Indonesia. It was effectively a western-sanctioned land grab and the West Papuans were not consulted. There was a ‘safety valve’ in the form of a so-called Act of Free Choice to be held in 1969.
The 1969 exercise was an absolute shocker and everybody involved, including the tiny UN team present at the time, knew it. There were a series of stage-managed ‘consultative assemblies’ or ‘musjawarah’. Just over a thousand people took part in the final ‘vote’ and they were isolated under armed guard beforehand and threatened with torture and death should they ‘vote’ for any choice other than staying with Indonesia. None did.
The New Zealand Ambassador of the time attended a couple of the assemblies and reported on ‘the questionable morality’ of the whole exercise. New Zealand and other western nations voted at the UN to endorse a process they knew was wrong because they wanted to stay on side with anti-communist Indonesia.
The New Zealand public had to wait for documents to be declassified to know what our Ambassador thought of this exercise. But journalists and editorial writers did not hang back. After the first two assemblies had been held the Melbourne paper The Herald was moved to comment ‘even Hitler was satisfied with less than one hundred per cent in plebiscites.’
It is time that New Zealand recognised the obvious – Indonesia’s repressive rule has not extinguished West Papuan aspirations for freedom. We turned our backs on the people fifty years ago, but we have the chance to do better now. We could start by backing the call for a Pacific fact-finding mission and urging Indonesia to stop arresting peaceful demonstrators.
 Maire Leadbeater is one of NZs best known human rights activists 

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http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1606/S00107/more-intimidation-of-activists-as-anniversary-approaches.htm

4) More intimidation of activists as anniversary approaches


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release- 30 June 2016
More intimidation of activists as anniversary of West Papuan independence declaration approaches 
On the 1st July in 1971, West Papuan Independence was declared by the OPM. 
Local media suarapapua.com reported that the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) central committee had issued a general call to all the students and the people of Papua to commemorate the reading of the proclamation of independence of Papua.
In the article suarapapua.com also reported that the Papuan Police Chief, Inspector General of Police Paul Waterpauw had issued a statement that on the 1 July 2016, the people of Papua should not commemorate the anniversary with the raising of the Morning Star flag.
"We will prosecute anyone affirm raising the Morning Star flag. But we give tolerance when July 1 was celebrated with the worship of gratitude, "said Waterpauw.
Although the West Papuan people have still to achieve their Independence, they have achieved great victories in the past few years. 
The formation of the umbrella organisation the ULMWP, leading to it being granted observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
West Papua being put back on the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the fact that West Papua is becoming an international issue.
Joe Collins of AWPA said, “as the 1st July approaches we again have the security forces trying to intimidate the West Papuan people into not taking part in rallies celebrating days of significance in their history or in rallies bringing attention to the injustice they suffer under Indonesian rule. Since the beginning of May over 3000 West Papuans have been arrested in peaceful rallies throughout West Papua. Hopefully on the 1st of July there will be no repeat performances of mass arrests of Papuans in any rallies that take place”.
Proclamation
To all the Papuan people, from Numbay to Merauke, from Sorong to Baliem (Star Mountains) and from Biak to the isle of Adi.
“With Gods help and blessing, we take this opportunity today to announce to you all that, today, 1 July 1971, the land and people of Papua have been declared to be free and independent (de facto and de jure). May God be with us, and let it be known to the world, that the sincere wish of the Papuan people to be free and independent in their own country is hereby fulfilled.
Victoria, July 1st 1971
In the name of the people and government of West Papua 
President 
Seth J Rumkorem (Brigadier general)
(From Robin Osbourne’ book Indonesia’s Secret War 1985) 
ends
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5) Why not open up the Island of New Guinea?  

THE Papua New Guinea National Research Institute has released its latest publication today for public discussion. The report titled: “Why not open up the island of New Guinea?” is an opinion piece by the PNG NRI Director Dr Charles Yala.

This article puts out for public discussion, especially within Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Indonesia, the idea of opening up the Island of New Guinea. It suggests that four Cities (three maritime cities and one hinterland city) and three Highways (North South, East and West, all passing through the hinterland city) as the core elements of the proposal to open up the island of New Guinea.
“The economic impact of this proposal would be significant for both PNG and Indonesia, because it links PNG and Indonesia to the fastest growing economies of the World: Asia to both the West and North, and Australia and New Zealand to the South,” Dr Yala said.
Dr Yala stated that there are engineering, financial, social, cultural, political, economic, and security considerations for all who would be affected by this proposal.

“The proposal has the potential to develop an integrated economic community within this part of the world and place PNG and Indonesia, especially West Papua, on a path to sustained, broad-based growth and development. This proposal complements two other major projects: the Maritime Silk Road being advanced by China (China - Southeast Asia -Pacific Islands), and the Northern Australia Policy proposed by the Australian government for the development of the northern half of the Australian continent,” Dr Yala said.

Dr Yala asserts that if this idea is progressed by PNG and Indonesia, it could be a good candidate project for the newly-established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
“I am inviting genuine discussions with a view to progress this project because the potential economic gain for all inhabitants of the Island of New Guinea, and more specifically for the broader PNG community and Indonesia, in my view is significant,” Dr Yala said.
Picture: Dr. Charles Yala pictured in the centre




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6) Human trafficking convict undergoes trial in Biak court
Kamis, 30 Juni 2016 07:21 WIB

Biak, Papua (ANTARA News) - Human trafficking convict Mami Sari underwent trial at Biak District Court, Papua, Wednesday evening.

The trial was led by head judge, Indrawan. The agenda was to hear the four victim-witnesses of the human trafficking case.

Four girls from Bogor, West Java, identified with initials AF,SN, FS and HM, who were victims of human trafficking testified under oath in the court.

"We were invited to Biak by Sari to work in a night club at a salary of 3 million rupiahs per month," one of the victims told the judges in court.

In reality, these girls were only paid 500,000 rupiah every month.

Prosecutor Leni Silaban charged defendant Sari with regulation number 21, 2007 about the eradication of human trafficking.

During the trial, the defendant was accompanied by her attorney, Sergius Wabiser from Biak.

The trial went smoothly with Biak Police providing security.(*)
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1) Election 2016: Human rights advocate says LNP, ALP “mute” on West Papua situation


2) Gloves come off as Jakarta confronts Papua rights

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1) Election 2016: Human rights advocate says LNP, ALP “mute” on West Papua situation
June 30, 2016
WITH Australia heading to a general election, Catholic Church leaders are calling on the major political parties to end their double standards on human rights advocacy in the region.
Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission executive officer Peter Arndt said successive Australian governments had ignored human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces in West Papua while condemning similar abuses elsewhere in the region.
Mr Arndt said despite the advocacy efforts of the commission, Australian politicians from both sides were mute on human rights issues in Indonesia’s most easterly Papuan provinces, collectively known as West Papua.
“Yes it is the case, both the former Labor governments and the current Coalition Government do not want to speak out loudly about West Papua,” he said.
“I can recall recently Foreign Minister Julie Bishop commenting about the Papua New Guinea police shooting into a crowd of student demonstrators in Port Moresby, expressing their concern for the lack of respect for the basic human right to express their political views freely and peacefully, but we don’t hear Julie Bishop, or her counterpart in the Opposition, expressing concerns publicly about the same sort of behaviour and more in West Papua.
“There have been numerous incidents of police violence against unarmed activists undertaking peaceful protests, and violence against civilians, over recent years, and neither government has taken a strong stand in relation to those.”
In March, The Catholic Leader reported on alleged cases of human rights abuse cited by a Church fact-finding mission led by Mr Arndt and human rights advocate Josephite Sister Susan Connelly.
The mission documented recent military and police intimidation, beatings and torture, kidnapping and murder in West Papua.
Sr Connelly, likened her visit to West Papua to “stepping back twenty years when I first went to East Timor”.
“The same oppressive security presence everywhere, the same suspicion, bewilderment, frustration and sadness,” she said.
“The same fear. The same seemingly groundless hope.”
Mr Arndt said one of the reasons he found it difficult to get any traction with Australian politicians was that international journalists were restricted from entering West Papua to report.
A ban on foreign reportage was imposed in 2003, although recently some international outlets have been allowed to send in journalists under tight control.
Mr Arndt said the lack of unfettered international reporting on potential human rights abuses was exacerbated by media interference inside West Papua.
“Recently, the deputy police commissioner in Jayapura (the capital of Papua Province) complained about one of the local news outlets because its journalists were not co-ordinating with the police in reporting demonstrations by activists,” he said. 
“So it’s pretty hard for us to get any traction with politicians if we can’t get widespread, mainstream coverage in Australia.”
On May 2, about 1500 people were arrested in Jayapura. 
It barely rated in Australian media although it was the largest mass arrest of pro-independence demonstrators in Papua, and included arrests in regional centres Sorong, Merauke, Wamena, Fak-Fak and Manokwari.
By Mark Bowling
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2) Gloves come off as Jakarta confronts Papua rights

6:19 pm today
Johnny Blades - johnny.blades@radionz.co.nz
Indonesia's campaign to contain issues of West Papua has entered a new phase.
As diplomatic activity on behalf of the indigenous people of West Papua has recently surged, Jakarta has responded by taking steps that it says will address human rights abuses in Indonesia's troubled region.
This includes establishing a team to lead investigations into historical rights abuses in Papua.
The rights problems however are not confined to Papua's troubled past.
The leading Indonesian human rights organisation KONTRAS recently confirmed it had reports of over 1,200 cases of people suffering from harassment, killings, torture and ill-treatment in the past year.
"We haven't put the other issues into this number - the economic and social rights issues," said the organisation's head co-ordinator, Haris Azhar.
He said these abuses were often made by security forces against Papuans for exercising their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and movement.
Now, as Papuan human rights becomes part of the Indonesian discourse, Jakarta become more proactive about responding to its critics.

Geneva rumble

Concern about human rights abuses in West Papua was given prominence at the UN Human Rights Council's recent 32nd session in Geneva.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association mentioned it, as did a range of civil society groups.
Barrett Salato said his government received regular reports from Papua about arbitrary arrests, summary execution, torture, restriction of freedom of expression, assembly and association, committed mainly by Indonesian police.
"Not much information goes out to the international commmunity about what's happening (in Papua) so we take it here to the right body of the UN to raise the voices of our fellow human beings that does not have a voice in the human rights council," he said.
The concerns were echoed by the Vanuatu government.
The deputy head of Indonesia's Permanent Mission to the UN, Michael Tene, hit back hard, saying Vanuatu and Solomon Islands lacked understanding about Papua.
He told the session that the two Melanesian countries were politically motivated in support of separatist groups which incite public disorder and terrorist attacks against civilians and security personnel.
The Indonesian diplomat read his statement quickly and appeared slightly anxious, perhaps a sign of Jakarta's defensiveness over the way West Papua issues have spilled out into the international domain.
"Indonesia as a democratic country is committed to promoting and protecting human rights, including by taking necessary steps to address the allegations of human rights violations and abuses in Papua."
"No one is perfect," explained Mr Tene, before telling the session how Vanuatu and Solomon Islands were far from perfect on protection of human rights.
He said the two countries still faced serious human rights problems, had rampant corruption in all segments of society and government, human trafficking, mistreatment of children and daily abuse of women.
"It would be for the betterment of their populations if the governments of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu give attention and priority to seriously address their respective own domestic human rights shortcomings."
Solomon Islands is currently occupying the chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and, along with Vanuatu, has been vocal in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.
The Liberation Movement was last year granted observer status at the MSG and is seeking full membership in the group, with a decision to be made at a summit of the group's leaders in Honiara next month.
Indonesia, which opposes the Liberation Movement and is itself seeking full membership in the MSG, has been lobbying other countries in the group and appears to have the support of the governments of Papua New Guinea and Fiji, if not the public of those countries.

International lobbying

In the past two months, there's been a surge of international attention on West Papua, particularly through the UK summit of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
That summit was attended by a network of politicians from around the world, including British MPs such as the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, and resulted in a call for an internationally-supervised vote on independence in West Papua.
This prompted Jakarta to immediately send a high-level delegation to London to explain their side of the story.
It was no surprise that the man who led the delegation to London was Indonesia's Political and Security minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
Mr Luhut has been fronting international representations on Papua for President Joko Widodo, including the recent visits to PNG and Fiji to drum up support for Indonesia's MSG plans.
As a former commander of Indonesia's Kopassus special military forces, Mr Luhut was a key player in state efforts to prevent East Timor becoming independent in the turbulent months of 1999.
Now, as Indonesia's government scrambles to counter international focus on West Papua, he has emerged as a champion of human rights.
Mr Luhut has been overseeing the creation of a new "integrated team" including human rights commissionaires and police to investigate at least a dozen high-priority historic rights cases in Papua as identified by the Widodo government.
Various Papuan provincial government and civil society figures are doubtful that the team is independent.

The Liberation Movement has rejected the creation of the team, saying violations committed against Papuans are not only murder and torture but are complex, ongoing processes such as the routine denial of democratic space, land grabbing and illegal logging.
It feels that Mr Luhut's team is primarily aimed at improving Indonesia's rights reputation abroad.
Three weeks ago, the minister travelled to Papua with ambassadors from New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands for what Indonesian state media said was a chance to observe the handling of human rights cases.
PNG's ambassador Peter Ilau said he was encouraged by what he saw, suggesting that evidence being put forth about human rights abuses in Papua may surprise people about "who the real aggressors are in a lot of these incidents".
He said this while referencing a recent article by a spokesman at the Indonesian ambassador in Canberra that sought to portray the Liberation Movement as a terrorist group.
Mr Ilau also said that the ambassadors heard how people in Papua have had enough of "outside interference" by outside governments and diaspora Papuans.
This is in stark contrast to many representations made by grassroots West Papuans who say they support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and that they want access to Papua to be opened up for foreign governments, journalists, researchers and the UN.
Papuans don't just want this - they pray for it.
And in the case of Steven Itlay, a Papuan who held a prayer ceremony in support of the Liberation Movement in Mimika in April, he was put behind bars for this.
Almost three months later, he's still in prison, yet another Papuan incarcerated for expressing his political views.

Taking to the street

Since April, there's been a series of large pro-independence demonstrations by West Papuans in the main cities of Papua region, and even in Indonesian cities outside Papua.
The demonstrations, which have been largely peaceful, have featured mass expressions of support for the Liberation Movement and the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
There have been mass arrests, with around 2,000 Papuans detained on one day alone for participating in a large demonstration in Jayapura to mark the anniversary of the former Dutch New Guinea's controversial 1963 integration into Indonesia.

Since the start of May, over 3000 West Papuans are understood to have been arrested for participation in these peaceful rallies, the most recent one being just over a week ago.
Tomorrow, 1 July, marks the 45th anniversary of the OPM free West Papua Movement's declaration of independence and another round of demos is expected.
The Papua police commander General Paulus Waterpauw has warned that Papuans should not commemorate the anniversary by raising the Morning Star flag, the Papuan nationalist symbol that is effectively banned in Indonesia.
This is unlikely to stop Papuans taking to the streets, but brandishing the Morning Star is still risky business in Papua as the sad death of a Papuan teenager in Nabire city this week seems to confirm.
The family of 18-year-old Owen Pekei say he died after being shot on a motorbike by security forces but police are saying his death was the result of a traffic accident.
However witness statements that police forces were chasing the victim into an ambush situation, and that he was carrying a noken bag with the Morning Star symbol on it, sound all too familiar to West Papuans.
It may be a new phase in Indonesia's international representations over West Papua, but on the ground the old core grievances remain.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Media release-More intimidation of activists as anniversary of West Papuan independence declaration approaches

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release- 30 June 2016

More intimidation of activists as anniversary of West Papuan independence declaration approaches 

On the 1st July in 1971, West Papuan Independence was declared by the OPM. 

Local media suarapapua.com reported that the Papua Student Alliance (AMP) central committee had issued a general call to all the students and the people of Papua to commemorate the reading of the proclamation of independence of Papua.
In the article suarapapua.com also reported that the Papuan Police Chief, Inspector General of Police Paul Waterpauw had issued a statement that on the 1 July 2016, the people of Papua should not commemorate the anniversary with the raising of the Morning Star flag.
"We will prosecute anyone affirm raising the Morning Star flag. But we give tolerance when July 1 was celebrated with the worship of gratitude, "said Waterpauw.

Although the West Papuan people have still to achieve their Independence, they have achieved great victories in the past few years. 
The formation of the umbrella organisation the ULMWP, leading to it being granted observer status at the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
West Papua being put back on the agenda at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the fact that West Papua is becoming an international issue.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, “as the 1st July approaches we again have the security forces trying to intimidate the West Papuan people into not taking part in rallies celebrating days of significance in their history or in rallies bringing attention to the injustice they suffer under Indonesian rule. Since the beginning of May over 3000 West Papuans have been arrested in peaceful rallies throughout West Papua. Hopefully on the 1st of July there will be no repeat performances of mass arrests of Papuans in any rallies that take place”.

Proclamation
To all the Papuan people, from Numbay to Merauke, from Sorong to Baliem (Star Mountains) and from Biak to the isle of Adi.
“With Gods help and blessing, we take this opportunity today to announce to you all that, today, 1 July 1971, the land and people of Papua have been declared to be free and independent (de facto and de jure). May God be with us, and let it be known to the world, that the sincere wish of the Papuan people to be free and independent in their own country is hereby fulfilled. 
Victoria, July 1st 1971
In the name of the people and government of West Papua 
President 
Seth J Rumkorem (Brigadier general)
(From Robin Osbourne’ book Indonesia’s Secret War 1985) 
 ends
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More info.
1) Welcomes July 1: AMP Calls for National Action 45 of the Proclamation
2) Chronology of crackdown on recent peaceful rallies

1) Welcomes July 1: AMP Calls for National Action 45 of the Proclamation


1) Welcomes July 1: AMP Calls for National Action 45 of the Proclamation
2) Chronology of crackdown on recent peaceful rallies
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A google translate. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahadas link at
 http://suarapapua.com/2016/06/27/sambut-1-juli-amp-serukan-aksi-nasional-45-tahun-proklamasi/

1) Welcomes July 1: AMP Calls for National Action 45 of the Proclamation



YOGYAKARTA, SUARAPAPUA.com - Papua Student Alliance (AMP) central committee has issued a general call to all the students and the people of Papua in any city in the Java-Bali to commemorate 45 years of the reading of the proclamation of independence of Papua.

In the past, July 1, 1971, the proclamation was read out in the village of Waris, near the border with Papua-New Guinea (PNG). The national action will be carried out in the form of a peaceful demonstration on Friday, July 1, 2016, coordinated by AMP each town committees.

Proclamation of July 1, 1971 has previously been prepared to read out on December 1, 1961, but considering that the proclamation should be read on the day of full independence Papuans, then postponed proclamation was read. Then on December 19, 1961, the President of Indonesia, Sukarno, read Trikora (Tri Komando Rakyat), and began to Indonesia's efforts to derail the formation of the country of Papua intensive. Papua liberation Mandala Command was formed.

Through the Act (the Act of) 1969, Papua became part of Indonesia. Papuans protesting the implementation of the 1969 Act does not uphold the values ​​of democracy and freedom and human rights are confronted with weapons, military operations, death.

"Under the shadow of terror and military operations conducted by the Indonesian military in Papua, on July 1, 1971, located in the village of Waris, Numbay-Papua, near the border with PNG, echoed 'the proclamation of independence of West Papua' by Brigjend Zeth Jafet Rumkorem, as President of West Papua, "AMP wrote in his appeal.

Various military operations launched by Indonesia continues to crush the pro-independence Papuans, it is clear AMP, continues to this day.

"The silencing of the democratic space more real by state authorities (TNI-Polri) by prohibiting their freedom of expression to the people of Papua in public as well as catching up with the persecution of pro-independence activists in Papua," said AMP.

Meanwhile, Papua Police Chief, Inspector General of Police. Paul Waterpauw already issued a statement that the July 1, 2016, the people of Papua should not be commemorated with the raising of the Morning Star flag.

"We will prosecute anyone affirm raising the Morning Star flag. But we give tolerance when July 1 was celebrated with the worship of gratitude, "said Waterpauw.

Announcers: Bastian Tebai




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2) Chronology of crackdown on recent peaceful rallies

On the 5 April a number of activists were arrested including the chair of the KNPB Steven Itlay in Timika.  It was reported they were beaten and kicked during the arrests. The Timika branch of the KNPB were simply holding a prayer meeting (“Prayers for the Papuan People’s recovery”) with local people from the area and also in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). The  Jakarta Globe on the 6 April reported that at least 12 activists from group the KNPB, were detained after a rally turned violent in Kampung Bhintuka-SP13 field in Mimika, Timika district, Papua on Tuesday (05/04). Mimika Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Yustanto said the protest was forcefully dispersed after rally coordinator Steven Itlay gave a speech about Papua independence. 

On the 13 April rallies were  held in a number of districts of West Papua. A RNZI report (14 April) said that the demonstrations in West Papua have been described as a sign of widespread support for integration with the wider Melanesian community. The peaceful demonstrations in the main cities of Indonesia's Papua region were attended by thousands of West Papuans under the banner of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. The demonstrations, voiced support for the Liberation Movement and its bid to gain full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group, resulted in dozens of arrests. One of the key Papuan political groups in the Movement, the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, was centrally involved in organising the demonstrations. The KNPB chairman Victor Yeimo addressed the demonstration in the Papuan provincial capital, Jayapura. 

On the 2 May 2016  up to 1800 people were arrested including KNPB members, student activists and pro independence supporters. The local media Tabloid Jubi reported (3 May) that activists were detained in Jayapura, Sentani, Merauke, Manokwari, Timika and Sorong. The rallies were called to show support for the bid by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) for full membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and to support the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) who were meeting at the Houses of Parliament in London to discuss the issue.  Although the majority of activists were eventually released, during the arrests in Jayapura a large number of activists were taken to the Mobile brigade (BRIMOB) headquarters and made to remove their shirts and put in a field in the extremely hot midday sun. Seven activists were also tortured.  Jubi reported (article 6 May) that the torture against the seven activists took place in a special detention room named Karel Satsuitubun in the police headquarters.

One activist told jubi that “The seven of us were treated inhumanly. They treated us like animals,” He said during the interrogation, officers stepped on the activists’ chests or backs, some repeatedly beat them on the head with riffle butts. “An officer came and hit me on my ear. For a minute I loss my consciousness. I regained consciousness when I felt something warm out of my ear. I grabbed it and it was blood,” he said. When other officers came, they kicked him on the chest and back. He said he felt the pain after he woke up the next morning. In an article Judi report that “KNPB Activists Claim Torture by Police”  at  

31 May Over a thousand demonstrators gathered in the Papua provincial capital Jayapura to express their support for the Liberation Movement and its bid for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group500 people were arrested in the days leading up to and on the 31 May.  According to the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), more than 300 Papuans were arrested after the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) organized rallies on Tuesday the 31 May calling for the release political prisoners and to show support for the ULMWP to be granted full membership at the MSG. The activists were also calling on the leaders of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) who were meeting in PNG for the 8th Summit of the ACP to support the right of the people of West Papua to self-determination. The intimidation of KNPB activists started on Saturday when 50 were arrested in Sentani and Jayapura. Although they were released the mobile phones of a number of activists were confiscated.  On Monday 30 May local media (Jubi) reported three members of KNPB in Yahukimo and 21 people in Wamena were arrested for distributing leaflets about the rallies to be held on the 31 May.
10 June. Local media (suarapapua.com )   reported the arrests of up to 31 KNPB activists in Jayapura on Friday the 10 June. Those arrested were simply handing out leaflets informing the public about an upcoming rally to be held on the 15 June.  LP3BH Protested the  Arrests of the  31 KNPB Activists. 

13 June  65 KNPB and student activists in Sentani and 4 in Nabire arrested on the 13 June. 

15 June.  A large number of rallies took place in West Papua with  over 700 security force personal  brought in to control the demonstrators. Over 1000 detained in Papua for protesting

27 June. KNPB news on Facebook reported that 13 activists were arrested in Wamena while raising funds to support the struggle