Youth Forum concerned about the shrinking space for democracy in West Papua

The West Papua Christian Youth Forum (FPK-TP) has released another open letter called THE LOSS OF DEMOCRATIC SPACE IN THE LAND OF PAPUA. The Forum is deeply disappointed by the actions of the Indonesian Army and Police. They continue to silence democracy in Papua, where students and the Papuan people demonstrating against Special Autonomy Volume II have been forcibly dispersed with acts of violence. "Violent actions were taken to disperse the Cenderawasih students' peaceful protests, including shooting which destroyed vehicles and the doors of the University as well as beatings of the protesters. This should not have happened if the security forces had approached the situation properly," said Yandinus Mabel, Head of the West Papua Christian Youth Forum. Yandinus said, the levels of security that were carried out during the peaceful protests to reject Special Autonomy Volume II were over the top. "The duty of the security forces is to safeguard and not commit acts of violence or prohibit the expression of opinions in public under Law no. 9 of 1998 which allows every citizen to express their opinion in public.

The forced dispersing of the University of Cenderawasih Student protests to reject Special Autonomy on 28 September 2020 carried out by the joint police, and TNI task force was a violation of basic human rights. As members of West Papua Christian Youth Forum, we condemn the actions of the army and police as being coloured by violence through shooting and beating of protestors at Cenderawasih University, "stated Mabel. According to Mabel the State of Indonesia ratified the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) on 28 October, 2005 through Republic of Indonesia Law No. 12 of 2005 concerning the ratification of the International Covenant On Civil And Political Rights which was accompanied by a Declaration on Article 1 concerning ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "These laws do not apply to West Papua; there is no space for them. Human rights are basic rights that are inherent in humans and should be protected and respected," he said.

Mabel said that there still has been no response or action from the President of Indonesia regarding the case of the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani in Intan Jaya District. "The West Papua Christian Youth Forum is very disappointed with the actions of the security forces and the police in Papua, especially regarding the recent murder of Pdt. Yeremia Zanambani, who was shot dead. Everyone is talking about the death of Pastor Yeremia, but President Jokowi keeps his mouth and ears closed as if he were mute. The President can talk about the fate of the Palestinians but when it comes to Papua there is no action, "he said. There are many cases of killing that have occurred in Papua, and none have ever been resolved. Shooting to kill has become the typical practice of Army and Police, and it seems that it is becoming normal. "We ask all God's people around the world to hear the screams of the children of Papua. Papua is in mourning, and we are not free in our own country, and for this, we ask for prayer support," said Mabel.

Leaders of FPK-TP:
Yadinus Mabel, S.Th, Chairperson of the Youth Department of GIDI (Evangelical Church of Indonesia); Sepi Wanimbo, M.KP, Chair of the Papuan Baptist Youth Department; Rev. Sendi Tabuni, M.Th, Head of the KINGMI Youth Department in Papua; Rev. Edison Sekenyap, Head of the Youth Department of GKI in Papua M.Si; Alfonsa J. Wayap, Chair of the Catholic Church - Papua Province Regional Commission.