By West Papua Human Rights Center, Washington, D. C.
Representatives of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP): Jacob Rumbiak, Rex Rumaikek, and Nadine Rutter of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs Immigration and Trade (DFAIT) of the Federal Republic of West Papua (FRWP), presented the Green and Independent leaders a petition signed by more than eighteen thousand Australians. The petition calls on the Australian government to “support the resolution prepared by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to list West Papua with the UN Decolonisation Committee“. After receiving the petition, leaders on both sides spoke about the need for the Australian government and the Australian public to support West Papua in the ongoing effort to break free from Indonesia. The leaders also highlighted the human rights violations in West Papua.
Jayapura is a warzone!
The petition reminds Australia of the chaos and the gross human rights violations that is going on next door in West Papua. Shortly after the Indonesian government rejected the UN Commissioner for Human Rights’ request to travel to West Papua, its armed soldiers and police descended on Jayapura – targeting human right activists and arresting suspects. They carried out raids in the early morning hours. Words from witnesses described the situation in Jayapura as extremely tense and dangerous.
At 5 pm (local time) yesterday – September 9th, a combined force of TNI and Police carried out raids at Port Numbay in Jayapura. They went from house to house in search of suspects, and firing in the air in the process perhaps to intimidate people. An eye-witness claimed he’d counted more than 60 gunshots into the air. He described Indonesian military activities at dusk as “downright scary and menacing.” Another source told WPHRC, “it is like a war zone!”
Human Rights activists arrested
They arrested human rights activist Bucthar Tabuni – a known outspoken indigenous man – in the raid. He was targeted by Indonesian police for sometime. Mr. Agus Kossay, another activist, was arrested the day before. Both of them are held at the Brimob Headquarter in Jayapura. Other suspects are also in police custody, and we know what they are doing to these suspects right now – they will torture them till their trial.
These unhinged Indonesian police and military operatives are now going after political leadership of the Federal Republic of West Papua.
West Papua is a ‘No Go Zone’
Since the protest against colonialism and racial discrimination began in late August, the Indonesian president Joko Widodo sent mixed signals. He called for calm and dialogue, at the same time authorized the deployment of more than six thousand armed commandos to West Papua. These people are responsible for the death of West Papuan protesters.
According to reporters, the Indonesian government has also banned local churches and NGOs from supplying much-needed medical supplies and food to the victims of Indonesian activities.
Foreign journalists are also banned from West Papua, while local lawyers, journalists, bloggers, and human rights activists are being targeted by the Indonesian. They are being threatened with prison time for writing on ‘Social Media’ such as Facebook and Twitter.
Sign the Petition
The situation in West Papua is grim, and the Indonesian government must be held accountable for what is happening there. They must be stopped, but your help is needed to bring the issue of West Papua to the forefront of the decolonization committee 2020 agenda.