Stand with West Papua for Liberation, Self-determination and Peace

The Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) strongly condemns the Indonesian police and military on their series of brutal repression and human rights violations against the West Papuan pro-independence activists and civilians.

Last year of December 5th, five West Papuan people were shot dead and 12 others injured when Indonesian troops and police fired into a crowd of civilians in the highlands region of Paniai. Prior to the massacre, the crowd had gathered in Karel Gobay Square in Paniai to protest against a group of Indonesian soldiers, who they say had beaten a 12-year-old boy the previous night.

The most recent attack occurred last January 7 when the Indonesian army, police and special forces, arrest, strip and torture scores of pro-independence West Papuans near Timika. Of the 116 people, 48 of whom were women and three children.

A number of residents who were arrested were from several areas in the mountains of central Papua, including Jayawijaya, Puncak Jaya, and Lanny Jaya. Dozens of honais (traditional houses), the location where this group was, were also burned by the authorities. Many have fled to the forests in terror.

Imperialist governments such as the United States and Australia have greatly abetted the regime of Indonesia in the colonization and the cold-blooded genocide of indigenous population of West Papua. Both US and Australia have common economic and geopolitical interests in the region.

West Papua harbors the US-based Freeport-McMoRan Gold and Copper mine that was imposed on it via a US-Indonesian agreement. It is the largest gold mine, and the third largest copper mine in the world. Like in most places around the world, the abundance of these mineral resources has unleashed the violence that is being committed against the indigenous people of West Papua. Big extractive and financial firms in both the US and Indonesia hell bent in controlling the mine and its surrounding area. In 2005, the New York Times reported that Freeport generously showered the Indonesian military with $20 million to protect their control over mineral resources.

At the end of the APEC conference in Hawaii in November, President Obama visited Indonesia and relayed to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono his unconditional support to Indonesia’s claim over the territory.

Meanwhile, Australia has always vocalized its firm opposition against West Papua’s independence. Recent reports claim that Australia trains and supplies the death squad Detachment 88 that the Indonesian authorities use to terrorize civilian population and crush resistance. This is unsurprising given Australia’s huge direct investment in Indonesia, including the Rio Tinto’s 15 per cent stake in the Freeport mine.

Amid these blatant injustices, we stand with the West Papuans as they struggle for liberation, self-determination and peace.

We demand that the Indonesian government end its colonization and genocidal war against the West Papuans.

We call on the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute the government of Indonesia for its crimes against humanity and genocide in West Papua.

We call on people’s movements, civil society, leaders and individuals to collectively expose and oppose the Indonesian police and military’s human rights violations and the complicity of powerful governments and business interests in these heinous acts.

Free West Papua!