Army officer insults Filep Karma during interrogation at Cengkarang Airport

According to a recent article published on the news website of media outlet KBR, the former political prisoner and Papuan pro-independence activist Filep Karma was intercepted by five Air Force officers (AURI) at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Cengkarang on 3 January 2018. The officers had stopped Filep Karma around 9.00 pm in  the airport building because he was wearing a pin showing the image of a morning star flag - a symbol of cultural identity which is also used by the Papuan independence movement. According to Filep Karma, the military officers asked him whether he wears a “OPM flag” to which Filep replied that the pin is ”just a symbol. Based on the 1945 Constitution a flag is made from cloth measuring 1x2 metres. It's not a flag". He was interrogated for almost two hours.

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Papuan students outside of West Papua face systematic harassment

Papuans Behind Bars (PBB) has published a report on the systematic harassment and intimidation against Papuan students in Indonesia between September and December 2017. The report was compiled to expose police and military intimidation  of Papuan students and civil society groups outside of West Papua. Student movements like the 'Papuan Student Alliance' (AMP) and other Papuan civil society groups reported multiple cases in which Papuan students became victims of ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and intimidated. The PBB report views the cases as part of a trend of civil  and political rights violations, limiting freedom of expression and assembly of indigenous Papuans. Throughout the past four years, police, military and nationalist para-military groups have prevented Papuan students outside of West Papua from exercising their right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

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LIPI survey elucidates difference in perceptions regarding situation in West Papua

The 'Indonesian Institute of Sciences' (LIPI) in cooperation with 'Change.org' has conducted an internet survey among 27.298 Indonesian citizens about their perceptions regarding West Papua. The majority of participants consisted of Non-Papuans (98%), most of them living outside of West Papua. The survey was conducted for three weeks in November 2017 and covered multiple demographic entities, varying in terms of education, gender and age. The collected data reveals the existence of significant differences in perception regarding the current situation of West Papua between Non-Papuans and indigenous Papuans.

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Devastating health conditions in the Papuan regencies Asmat and Pegunungan Bintang – epidemic outbreaks and malnutrition reveal government failures

Multiple Indonesian news outlets have reported of new cases revealing the ongoing health crisis in West Papua. At least 62 villagers died in the Asmat regency due to malnutrition and the outbreak of measles epidemic since September 2017. Hundreds of villagers have been infected by measles and face difficulties to access health care services. Similar conditions have been reported from Pedam Village in Pegunungan Bintang regency, where 25 villagers had died between October and December 2017 because of measles, diarrhea and malnutrition. The large majority of affected are indigenous Papuans below the age of five years.

 

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