Sunday, July 10, 2016

Summary of events in West Papua for June - 10 July 2016

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

         Summary of events in West Papua for June - 10 July 2016-

More arrests at peaceful rallies in June
Up to 31 KNPB activists were arrested 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. For all the talk about Indonesia being a democracy the security forces still have to learn the principles laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states,
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Article 19)
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (Article 20). AWPA release at
The Director of Manokwari LP3BH Yan Christian Warinussy protested the arrests, "The deeds of the Jayapura police chief clearly violates the principles of respect for human rights set out in the Criminal Procedure Code and Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which has been ratified by the Government of Indonesia, "he said. (Jubi 13 June).

On the 13 June another 65 KNPB and student activists were arrested in Sentani and 4 in Nabire, again simply for distributing leaflets about the rally to be held on 15 June.  They were released in the afternoon after being held for several hours by the police.

KNPB activists and students in a sit-in handing out pamphlets for today's planned rally in Sentani before being arrested on Monday. Image: Doc KNPB Sentani regency/Suara Papua

On the 15 June a large number of rallies took place with over 1000 people being detained. It was also reported that over 700 security force personal were brought in to control the demonstrators. The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) Center reported that between the 10-15 over 1,236 people were arrested.

A media report at

18 years since the Biak massacre, but suffering still ongoing
On the 2 July 1998, the West Papuan Morning Star flag was raised on top of a water tower near the harbour in Biak. Up to 75 people gathered beneath it singing songs and holding traditional dances. As the rally continued, many more people in the area joined in with numbers reaching up to 500 people. On the July 6 the Indonesian security forces attacked the demonstrators, massacring scores of people. The victims included women and children who had gathered for the peaceful gathering. They were killed at the base of the water tower. Other Papuans were rounded up and later taken out to sea where they were thrown off naval ships and drowned. No security force personal were ever charged over the killings…….

Photos of commemoration of Biak Massacre outside Indonesian Consulate Sydney on 6 July

West Papuan murals in Darwin and Redfern
In response to the Indonesian Consul in Darwin, Mr Andre Siregar, who said that he believed there were about “two people" in Darwin who, supported the West Papuan independence movement,
Anthony Ash Brennan of Punks for West Papua responded with the video “Save the West Papua Friendship Mural, Darwin” at 
Congratulations also to graffiti artist “Kasino” on his new West Papuan mural of Benny Wenda in Redfern, Sydney in a show of support with the Darwin mural. 

On the 1st July in 1971, West Papuan Independence was declared by the OPM. 
The Papua Student Alliance (AMP) central committee 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 an article in it was 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. AWPA release at
A google translate of postings in Werene News about the Commemoration events. Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa links above postings.

In brief
Indonesia, Australia agree to enhance intelligence, counterterrorism cooperation
Jakarta and Canberra have agreed to enhance counterterrorism cooperation following a meeting in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday. The "Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security" is a follow-up to the first meeting of the same name held in December 2015 in Indonesia, where delegations from both countries discussed ways they could coordinate to address international security threats. Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the head of Indonesian delegation, said the meeting was fruitful, particularly in addressing terrorism threats and capacity enhancement for specific programs. (Marguerite Afra Sapiie The Jakarta Post June 9 2016)

NZ greens urge PM to raise human rights concerns in Papua
RNZI 5 July 2016
The New Zealand Green Party says Prime Minister John Key must address human rights in West Papua when he meets with Indonesia’s Joko Widodo later this month. Mr Key intended to discuss trade and economic links, but a Greens' MP Catherine Delahunty said there was no mention of discussions on the political situation in West Papua. She said the complete absence of human rights from Mr Key's agenda was particularly damning given a schoolboy was shot by military police in West Papua only last week. Ms Delahunty said Mr Key should urge Indonesia to stop talking about a more democratic approach and start acting on it. She said this should start with a commitment to end military and police abuses, political detention and state-sanctioned killings in West Papua.

Indonesia given deadline to end Papua violations
RNZI 8 July 2016
Indonesia has been given a 2017 deadline to address press freedom violations in its Papua province. The call from the chair of the regional media watchdog Pacific Freedom Forum came as Indonesia was earmarked to host the International Press Freedom Day event in May next year. Speaking from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea Titi Gabi said Jakarta must end abuses against local media in Papua and West Papua and ensure open access for foreign media to the restive Melanesian provinces.

Papuans and Indonesians at the same table in MSG
RNZI 17 June.
The chairman of this week's Melanesian Spearhead Group Foreign Ministers meeting in Fiji has lauded the occasion of having West Papuan and Indonesian delegates at the same table. However, Milner Tozaka, who is the Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, has admitted that this was not the way Indonesia initially wanted it to be. Mr Tozaka claimed it was the first time in the MSG history that Indonesia and the United Liberation Movement for West Papua were seated with the rest of the group's full membership at the meeting in Lautoka. The Liberation Movement, which has observer status in the MSG, and Indonesia, with associate member status, are both vying for full membership in the group. An upcoming MSG leaders summit in July in Honiara is expected to deliberate on this.……..

West Papua activists in Solomons ahead of MSG summit
RNZI 9 July 2016
Members of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua have arrived in Solomon Islands ahead of the expected Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders' summit next week.  The Solomon Star reports the West Papua campaigners arrived in Honiara on separate flights. The MSG summit was originally scheduled for Port Vila in Vanuatu at the start of May, but moved to Port Moresby towards end of June. Then it was postponed again because the leaders could not find time to meet during the Asia Caribbean Pacific meeting in Port Moresby. It was understood the MSG Leaders' Summit will now be held back to back with the Pacific Islands Development Forum which is also scheduled to be held in Honiara next week. The paper reports that peaceful demonstrations are expected during the MSG Leaders' Summit with West Papuan supporters denouncing human rights violations by Indonesia in Papua.

Pacific churches back UN complaint over Papua
RNZI 8 July
The Pacific Conference of Churches is backing a formal legal complaint to the UN Human Rights Council accusing Indonesia of human rights violations in West Papua. The Dutch human rights law firm, Prakken D'Oliveira, has submitted the complaint to the UN Human Rights Council.
It details vast and continuing alleged human rights violations by the Indonesian government against the people of West Papua. The general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says the action has been taken on behalf of the group calling itself the Federal State Republic of West Papua, its president Forkorus Yaboisembut, and 19 unnamed citizens of West Papua. The complainants are urging the UN to formally formally condemn Indonesia for committing systemic human rights violations in the region. Reverend Pihaate said the submission marked the beginning of a legal campaign for improved self-determination and independence in West Papua, as well as an end to the ongoing policy of systemic human rights violations.

PIANGO reiterates World Churches call for West Papua solidarity visit
04/07/2016, Fiji
Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) executive director, Emele Duituturaga has welcomed a call made by the World Council of Churches (WCC) for a solidarity visit to West Papua by an international ecumenical delegation. Duituturaga said the call made by the WCC for a solidarity visit to be organised as soon as possible, is timely given that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will be meeting next week in Honiara, Solomon Islands. “WCC has called for this visit 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,” Duituturaga said. “WCC joins the many voices from around the world that have been calling for justice and peace in West Papua and it’s a call that should weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of our leaders who will meet in Honiara next week.”……….

Papua rights abuses under the spotlight
Allegations of human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region, or West Papua, have been highlighted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.
But as the international focus sharpens on ongoing human rights abuses against West Papuans, Jakarta says its taking concrete action to address the issue…..
West Papuan demonstrators tightly monitored by Indonesian police. Photo: Whens Tebay

Solomon Islands, Vanuatu condemn Papuan rights violations at UN hearing
The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have condemned the “unresolved” human rights violations in West Papua by Indonesian security forces, saying they have continued in spite of President Joko Widodo’s greater attention to the region.
Both countries say the agreed future visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to Indonesia should also include West Papua.
The Vanuatu statement expressed its “deepest concerns on the deteriorating human rights situation” in the region. “We continue to receive increasing reports of gross human rights violations in West Papua,” the statement said.
The Solomon Islands strongly endorsed the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) Forum in London on May 3 which called for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.
The declaration had been endorsed by cross regional parliamentarians coming from 15 UN member states. “Whilst we welcome the increased attention given by President Joko Widodo to West Papua, the violation of human rights against West Papuan remains unresolved,” said the Solomon Islands statement……………….

Indonesian Densus 88 police shoot dead student, reports West Papua Media
Australian-supported Indonesian police special forces have shot dead a teenage Papuan high school student in central Nabire city, West Papua, reports West Papua Media.
The shooting took place on Monday in an “apparently premeditated ambush without provocation, according to credible reports and witnesses from the scene”. The student was unarmed , reports West Papua Media………..

Oen (Owen) Pekei … the 18-year-old student who was allegedly shot by Indonesian special forces police on Monday. Image: West Papua Media/UmagiNews

NZ groups launch petition to support West Papua
RNZI 7 July 2016
West Papua solidarity groups in New Zealand have launched a petition calling for the New Zealand government to speak out about human rights in the Indonesian region. Green MPs have been among protestors outside the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington today marking the death of a teenager Owen Pekei last week. The high school student was displaying the outlawed West Papuan independence flag when he was killed, allegedly by security forces. A spokesperson for the group Catherine Delahunty says 3000 people have been arrested since May so far this year at rallies. The groups say the situation is at breaking point with young people being arrested for nothing more than peacefully marching or carrying a placard. The groups are hoping to get thousands of signatures on the parliamentary petition before the end of August calling for fundamental UN guaranteed freedoms to be respected in West Papua. "We cannot be silent about these abuses in our backyard, especially with the Prime Minister's imminent trip to Indonesia," said Ms Delahunty.

Papuan citizenship promised soon for West Papuan refugees
West Papuans who have been living in Papua New Guinea for many decades will be granted citizenship soon. The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority will also embark on registering all West Papuan refugees who have crossed over from Indonesia to seek refugee status in Papua New Guinea. “So far we have over 10,000 refugees from West Papua who have lived with us for a very long time, and we have commenced registration of them with the view to finally granting them legal status,” said Deputy Chief Migration officer for Refugee Division, Esther Gaegaming. “We’re pleased to announce that for more than 1000 of them, their applications have been finalised and they will be going before the Citizenship Advisory Committee very soon for issuance of their citizenships. “This Friday, a team from our office will commence registration in Vanimo, another one of the biggest refugee settlement areas for West Papuan refugees. We will follow onto Wewak after that and then to Lae. “So by the end of this year, we hope to have over 85 percent of West Papuans registered……………………….

Opinion pieces/press releases/reports etc.

DFAT reply to AWPA letter

New companies threatening the Papuan forest: Number 1 Pacific Inter-link.

Human Rights Watch-
Response to the question re human rights in Indonesia

Press Release on final outcome of the MSG SOM & FMM Meeting

New report-, “Rising Voices, Rising Arrests:
Papuans Behind Bars 2015 report, “Rising Voices, Rising Arrests: A look at West Papua in 2015. The report is available online at:

Indonesia – An activist’s account of his dedication to peaceful protest

MSG, ACP and the (almost) forgotten case of West Papuan independence

Energy Indonesia: BP to Invest in Tangguh Expansion Project (Train 3)

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