We are supporting West Papua’s right to self-determination, against Indonesia’s military occupation, human rights abuses and economic exploitation
Indonesia’s annexation and military occupation of West Papua since 1969 is a hidden, almost unknown occupation, which has resulted in the deaths of at least 100,000 people. Human rights abuses are endemic, including torture, extrajudicial killings and the bombing of civilian areas. The Indonesian military and police receive aid and weaponry from the UK and US. Major UK companies, are exploiting the natural resources of West Papua, against the people’s wishes and without giving them a share of the profits.
Under Indonesian rule, West Papuan political parties are banned. The people are denied basic human rights, including the right to self-determination, freedom of expression, an open media and the right to protest. For example: Two Papuan men, Yusak Pakage and Filep Karma, were jailed for up to 15 years for merely raising the West Papuan flag. Foreign media and human rights groups are denied access to the region by the Indonesian Government.
It is not just military oppression, but also the annihilation of indigenous life through the suppression of West Papuan culture and the mass immigration of people from Java in a bid to make the West Papuans a minority in their own homeland.
In October 2012, Peter was arrested when he unfurled a West Papuan flag during the state visit of the then Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as his limousine departed Westminster Abbey. Peter argued that the President should have been arrested on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity under British and international law.
Hardly any NGOs are actively highlighting Indonesia’s criminal occupation. By working with West Papuan human rights activists, we can shine a spotlight on the human rights abuses and economic exploitation there. The aim is to pressure the Jakarta government to row back on its repression, secure UN agreement to send fact-finding mission and to win the holding of a UN-supervised referendum on whether West Papua should remain part of Indonesia or become independent.