What’s next for Papua after the MSG diplomacy?

The 2013 Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit undoubtedly marked a historic moment on the long journey of Papua's international diplomacy. During the top diplomatic gathering of the Melanesian countries, the Papuan representatives were invited for the first time.

While this political decision constitutes a breakthrough for the political impasse in Jakarta, the decision is still pending a follow-up visit by a foreign ministerial mission to Jakarta and Jayapura. The visit, however, is subject to the Indonesian government's approval, not the MSG's (The Jakarta Post, Oct. 26, 2013).

Papuan international diplomacy is not novel. If we look back to the second Papua Congress in 2000, it is one of the mandates that some 500 Papuan representatives entrusted to the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP).

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Why is West Papua closed to foreign journalists?

Yoman portrait 200x200Earlier this year I had a meeting with a friend who is a foreign journalist in Jakarta. During our conversation which lasted almost an hour, I asked him. 'When are you planning to visit Papua to get information directly from there?' My friend said: 'We are not permitted by the Indonesian government to visit Papua. I have made several requests to visit Papua but the government has turned down all my requests.'

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Jakarta Post publishes false article on political prisoners

After Jeremy Bally from the Pedalling for Papua campaign had visited political prisoners in Papua, the Jakarta Post had published an article in which they alleged that Bally confirmed good prison conditions and treatment of the prisoners. Bally explained later that he was seriously misquoted. Bally shared his response to what he calls government propaganda.

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The Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal

The Biak Massacre – 15 Year Anniversary
The Citizens Tribunal for the 15th Anniversary of the Biak Massacre was held on Saturday July 6th at the University of Sydney.

The verdict on the massacre was released in December 16, 2013.

Full Video Footage from the Tribunal is available.

Background

Human Rights Watch sent an undercover researcher to investigate the Biak massacre, and other violence by Indonesian security forces in West Papua in 1998. This initial report uncovers many key facts, but also leaves gaps.

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Verdict Released: The Biak Massacre Citizens Tribunal

On 6 July 2013 at the request of the West Papua Project at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies of the University of Sydney, a Citizens Tribunal held an inquiry in the nature of a coronial inquest to inquire into the events of 6 July 1998 on the island of Biak, West Papua. At that time citizens demonstrating peacefully for independence were attacked, many were killed and a large number were detained by Indonesian police and Indonesian armed forces. Many of those detained were subsequently killed; many of the women and girls were raped and both men and women were tortured and mutilated. The verdict of the tribunal was released on December 16, 2013.

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The MSG’s visit: A blessing or curse for Papuans?

Late in September, Vanuatu broke the silence over human rights abuses in Papua. In light of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Prime Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil raised the situation in Papua with the UN General Assembly.

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Indonesian agents sent to Papua-New-Guinea to prevent autopsy from taking place in poisoning allegation in the murder of Danny Kogoya

Medical doctors in Papua-New-Guinea have reasons to believe that the death of Danny Kogoya, a military commander in the National Liberation Army of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), who died on Sunday 15 December near the Indonesia-PNG border, was caused by a process of deliberate slow poisoning while he was recovering from an operation in an Indonesian military hospital.

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Indonesia’s Forbidden Island

BALI –On September 23, two officers with the Indonesian police Brigade Mobile ("Brimob") fired into a stone-throwing crowd, killing a 17-year-old student and seriously wounding three other people. The police posted guards at the hospital where the wounded were being treated, and required visitors to leave their mobile phones at the entrance. Police reportedly confiscated the mobile phone of a nurse who had used it to take photos of the victims' wounds.

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Papuans Behind Bars Update November 2013

At the end of November 2013, there were at least 71 political prisoners in Papuan jails. 112 political arrests were made this month in three separate cases, bringing the total number of arrests so far this year to 537. This represents a 165% increase in the number of political arrests as compared with the same period in 2012, signalling a significant deterioration in the environment for free expression and assembly in Papua.

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Petition: Free West Papua Political Prisoners

Petition to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: Free West Papua Political Prisoners. A Plea from the Daughter of Filep Karma, Audryne Karma

"Tomorrow Father will go to raise a flag and will make a brief speech in Abepura Trikora square. Both of you take care. If I am arrested by the police do not worry, do not visit Father at the police station. Just stay home and go to school as usual. The Lord Jesus protects us all."

Those were my father's last words before he was arrested.

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More Articles...

  1. Breaking the silence on Papua
  2. ‘The Neglected Genocide’ – a report detailing series of abuses in 1977–1978 in Papua is launched
  3. Isolation of Papua highlighted during ICP Consultation
  4. EU and Indonesia sign historic agreement on illegal timber
  5. Human Rights Committee considers Initial report of Indonesia
  6. Protest and memorial for the Biak massacre
  7. MSG makes positive statements for West Papua
  8. A Human Rights Tragedy 15 years ago is still Ignored by the Indonesian State
  9. Indonesia affirms restrictions to freedom of expression in Papua to UN Human Rights Committee
  10. Groups Urge Justice on 15th Anniversary of Biak (West Papua) Massacre
  11. Papuans Behind Bars: June Update
  12. Stop Being Afraid of Dialogue between Indonesia and Papua
  13. Child Dies in TNI-OPM Shootout
  14. MSG Decision on West Papua
  15. Nabire: Brimob Assaults a Civilian Due to Wage Demands
  16. West Papua's right to self-determinationStatement - by human rights lawyer, Yan Christian Warinussy
  17. Anti-apartheid leader dedicates award to the people of West Papua
  18. THIS IS THE DECISION OF THE LEADERS OF PAPUA MSG
  19. Special report on practice of torture in Indonesia released
  20. New ICP Report Details Extend of Violations in Papua
  21. New ICP Report Details Extent of Violations in Papua
  22. 14 Arrested for Torching Papua Police Station
  23. MSG to send mission to Jakarta and West Papua
  24. Security disturbances in Yapen: Stop Blaming the OPM
  25. A SHORT ACCOUNT ON CASES OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE, ARREST, DETAINING AND SHOOTING IN PAPUA, 30 April 2013 – 22 May 2013
  26. Papuan political prisoners reject Indonesian clemency offer
  27. Beheadings and dumped bodies pile up as Indonesian special forces rampage again in Tingginambut
  28. Amnesty International Annual Report 2013 Indonesia
  29. Six Timika Region KNPB Activists Sentenced to 1 Year Jail
  30. TPN in Yapen arrest local Indon police chief for abuses on civilians

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