The Indonesian state has dominated West Papua with military force since 1962. West Papua is the western half of the island of New Guinea, situated immediately north of Australia. The Netherlands colonized the territory during the nineteenth century. As the Dutch began to decolonize during the 1950s, they prepared West Papua for independence. This came, briefly, at the end of 1961. Shortly after, Indonesia invaded in 1962. This began an enduring occupation predicated on political repression, cultural destruction, and colonial genocide. It has also resulted in environmental devastation locally and globally, but West Papuans are fighting back with a new vision for a free Green State launched during COP26.
Large scale protests were held in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia at a time of heightened violence between government forces and pro-independence insurgents. On Friday, May 21, protests were held in different parts of West Papua, demanding release of political prisoners, and an end to months of violence. West Papuan cities like Manokwari, among others, witnessed hundreds participating in demonstrations. Along with protests in the Papuan provinces, Papuan communities in Java and other regions of Indonesia, also held protests condemning the violence. According to Veronica Koman, an Indonesian lawyer and human rights advocate currently in exile in Australia, a student-led protest in Semarang, Java, led to attacks from right-wing groups and over 46 Papuan and Indonesian students being detained by the police.
Today, we announce the formation of our Provisional Government of West Papua. We are ready to take over our territory, and we will no longer bow down to Jakarta’s illegal martial rule. From today, December 1, 2020, we begin implementing our own constitution and reclaiming our sovereign land. On this day in 1961, the elected West New Guinea Council raised the Morning Star flag in Jayapura. Our national anthem and name, West Papua, were accepted. Diplomats from Australia, the Netherlands and the UK, and a delegation from colonised Papua New Guinea had already witnessed the formation of the Council on April 5, 1961.
In the past month, social media have been awash with the #Papuanlivesmatter hashtag, which has attracted backing from actors, artists and many of Indonesia’s progressive youth. University student groups have organized online seminars with Papuans and human rights activists, sparking conversations that would have never happened in the past. And non-Papuans have taken to the streets calling for change, including in a city better known for its Islamic schools. (Papuans are largely Christian, a religious minority in the predominantly Muslim country.) “Many Indonesians wouldn’t be reflecting on the injustice toward Papuans if it wasn’t for George Floyd,” said Fajar Nugroho, 22, president of the University of Indonesia’s Student Executive Board, which organized webinars promoting Papuan Lives Matter.
Activism and protests marked West Papua’s 50th anniversary last year of the so-called Act of Free Choice, which formalised Indonesia’s control over the territory, with the region’s people once again demanding independence from Indonesia. In January 2019, West Papuan activists delivered a petition to the United Nation (UN) demanding a referendum on West Papuan independence.
Throughout 2017 to 2019 West Papua1 continued to be the hot spot of human rights violations and conflict in Indonesia. The patterns of human rights violations strongly differ from other regions in the archipelago due to the unresolved political conflict, racism and serious development deficits. On the one hand the human rights situation over the past two years was characterised by stagnant, re-occurring patterns of violations - an indication of the government’s lack of affirmative action in respecting, protecting and ensuring human rights.
The Demise Of U.S. Hegemony: Analysis Of A Revolutionary Heat Wave In Haiti, West Papua, Mexico And Beyond
A massive revolutionary heat wave has swept the globe this summer, as militants have risen up with the intent to overthrow their colonial and imperialist foes. In the face of gruesome and relentless State repression, the people are nevertheless holding and gaining ground. From West Papua to Mexico, from Haiti to Colombia, from Honduras to Sudan and beyond, those who have long suffered the violence and indignities of occupation are declaring, unequivocally, that they have had enough.
But what really is happening in West Papua? Of course, foreign journalists are banned from entering and reporting freely from there. Only official Indonesian journalists, basically lackeys of the regime, are regularly flown to the most devastated and oppressed areas. Their lies and twisted ‘reporting’ are the only things that the world is ‘allowed to see’. Working for years in South Pacific (Oceania), I visited on several occasions, both Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Vanuatu, where the West Papuan resistance has been regrouping. I also have some 25 years of experience, of working in Indonesia itself.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in highland areas of West Papua, one week after violent demonstrations flared across Indonesia’s easternmost provinces, leaving one dead and dozens injured. An anti-racist solidarity protest drew thousands of people in Dogiyai region, where marchers decried racism and called for determination, according to local reporter at the scene. Schools in Dogiyai were closed in anticipation of the rally with students joining the action, the reporter said.
Almost every December, the Indonesian region of Papua makes headlines both nationally and further afield. In 2018, following the arrest of hundreds of Papuans commemorating the region’s “independence day” on December 1, the nation was shocked by the killing of 31 construction workers allegedly by armed separatists – although the details are still unclear. There are now fears the violence could escalate. Ironically, these events took place as the Indonesian government makes a tremendous effort to develop Papua – which makes up the western half of the island of New Guinea and includes the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.
West Papua - Arrests took place on September 3 as people around the country gathered to hold peaceful rallies to support the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting, which is currently underway on Nauru. According to the ULMWP, 45 people were arrested in Sentani, West Papua at 08.12am West Papua as they prepared to travel towards a central gathering point. All are currently detained. The arrests were carried out by the joint Indonesian Security Forces, made up of around 100 Indonesian Police Officers, 30 Intelligence Personnel, and seven Detachment 88 – “Anti-Terror Special Forces”...
On the 31st May 2017, as hundreds of people in Timika were gathered peacefully to hold a prayer and thanksgiving ceremony for the thousands of signatures in the Bomberay region of West Papua, collected manually for the West Papuan People’s Petition, the Indonesian military and police began to surround the church compound. As soon as the local West Papua National Committee (KNPB) deputy leader, Yanto Awerkion took to the stage, the Indonesian troops raided the compound. They were fully armed and made up of the Indonesian military, police, Detatchment 88 (“Anti Terror” troops), Kopassus (Special Troops) and Intelligence Services. For 6 months Yanto has been held without charge in prison. He is being told his “crime” of supporting the petition could amount to “treason” and the next 15 years in jail.
By Chantal Da Silva for Independent - ‘The whole essence of our humanity is being reduced to nothing’ Free West Papua campaign leader Benny Wenda said. In West Papua, simply raising the Morning Star flag – a symbol of the island’s fight for independence from Indonesia – can result in 15 years of imprisonment. But more than 12,000 kilometres away in the UK, the forbidden flag was raised this morning outside Oxford’s town hall for the tenth year in a row. Oxford is one of more than 250 locations across 50 countries worldwide expected to raise the Morning Star flag today in a show of solidarity with tens of thousands of West Papuans calling for international intervention in the fight for independence from Indonesia. “In West Papua, the whole essence of our humanity is being reduced to nothing. We are treated like animals and endure what some have described as an ‘apartheid-like’ military occupation,” exiled Free West Papua campaign leader Benny Wenda, who was granted political asylum in the UK in the early 2000s, and lives in Oxford, told The Independent. “Tens of thousands of us have been forced to flee as refugees and those that stay live under constant terror. Almost every day, people are arrested without reason, tortured and killed at the hands of the Indonesian government.” An undated document published on the UNHCR website states that Papua New Guinea alone has taken in as many as 10,000 refugees from West Papua since 1985.
By Staff of Free West Papua Campaign - The names of those injured were: Aser Magai (male) Guwanus Tabuni (male) Deka Anow (male) Dominus Dogomo (male), Melianus Kobogau (male). Unverified footage appearing to show Indonesian soldiers firing shells in the Tembagapura area on 13th November has also been released. Following this, the Indonesian military admitted firing mortars on West Papuans and admitted that Merina and Ilawe people had been killed but said this was “unexpected”. A West Papuan man claims that they were in fact civilians. Speaking on 17th, the Nobel Peace Prize nominated West Papuan Independence Leader Benny Wenda who is the Spokesperson for the peaceful umbrella movement, The United Liberation Movement for West Papua, stated: “I am deeply concerned about the ongoing reports from the Tembagapura area of West Papua, especially the unconfirmed reports of West Papuan people being killed and wounded by ballistic missiles. I call upon all sides to show restraint and consider and fully respect human rights and especially the rights and needs of civilians. We don’t want any more bloodshed in West Papua. There must be a peaceful solution, both to the situation in Tembagapura and the wider situation in occupied West Papua.”
By Free West Papua Campaign USA. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is very disappointed at the Indonesian government’s irresponsible denial of human rights violations in Papua and West Papua province. Far from taking steps to improve the human rights condition there, the government consistently denies the existence of any problem. At the recent 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, in the first right of reply, Indonesian diplomat Ms. Ainan Nuran stated that human rights violations in Papua is nothing but a hoax. In the previous 71st session, junior Indonesian diplomat, Ms. Nara Masista, also denied the occurrence of various human rights violations in Papua.