I condemn the ongoing military activities in West Papua and the build up of the Indonesian military throughout West Papua, especially in the capital city, Jayapura.

West Papua has become one of the highly militarized zones in the world and that has affected the mobility of our people who are constantly harassed and abuse by Indonesian military and police.

Though the escalation of conflict in parts of West Papua brought in more soldiers and military hardware, it is important to note that even before that Indonesian military has had a significant presence throughout West Papua. The Indonesian police also established itself across cities in West Papua, and they are responsible for the never-ending harassment of or people.

I urge the United Nations to pressure the Indonesian government into allowing the UN Human Rights Commission to carry out a proper investigation into the Indonesia human rights violations of West Papuans and to ensure that our Indigenous rights, which are guaranteed by International Laws, are protected.

I also ask the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) to reconsider its policy on West Papua and Indonesia and urge Indonesia to withdraw its heavy military president and cease all military operations within West Papua. As a member of MSG, Indonesia is violating the principles of the organization by vowing to resolve this conflict militarily.

Also, the Pacific Islands Forum members should speak up about these gross human rights violations and reject Indonesian money. Doing so, PIF leaders are ignoring the ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘enslavement’ of their brothers and sisters in West Papua by a government so-keen on holding onto West Papua and its natural resources.

Finally, the pictures and countless stories of people being tortured by the Indonesian police during interrogation should now settle that matter. There’s indeed a system oppression and willful violation of West Papuans human rights by the Indonesian government and the international community must not ignore it. If these pictures, videos, and reports from smuggled documents and from people who are putting their lives on the line to expose these violations online don’t concern the world, nothing else will.

Free West Papua

Herman Wainggai