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International Academics for West Papua to launch its European branch in Britain

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Illustration International consultation on West Papua 22-24
February 2017 in Geneva, hosted by the World Council of Churches –
Victor Mambor

Nabire, Jubi – International Academics for West Papua (IAWP) is a
network that was started in 2016 by a group of academics concerned
about the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua, will launch its
European region branch this month.

IAWP welcome academics from all countries and all disciplines. The aim
of the network is t to express extreme concern about the prevalence of
human rights abuses carried out by Indonesian security forces in West
Papua.

It was officially launched in the Australia-Pacific region on
September 1 at the University of Sydney’s conference, ‘Beyond the
Pacific: West Papua on the World Stage’, hosted by the West Papua
Project.

The ribbon was cut by West Papuan leader, Jacob Rumbiak, to an
audience of Papuans and their international supporters. It also
included and welcome the network’s new patrons, Dr Benny Giay and
Professor Noam Chomsky.

The European branch of the International Academics for West Papua is
set to launch on Wednesday November 15 at the British Houses of
Parliament in 4:30PM Grimond Room, Portcullis House.

The branch will be launched during an introductory meeting of the
All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua, a cross-party group of
MPs and Lords which seeks to promote West Papuan self-determination
and human rights at a high political level.

The launch will feature talks from several academics and researchers
on issues from British foreign policy in West Papua to the thorny
issue of a proposed independence referendum.
It will be joined by parliamentarians, activists, journalists and
legal professionals.

Below is IAWP official open letter launched in September 2016, as well
as it platform of foundation:

Open letter to the Government of Indonesia

We academics from around the world express extreme concern about the
prevalence of human rights abuses carried out by Indonesian security
forces in West Papua.

Since 1969, the Indonesian army has routinely fired into non-violent
demonstrations, burned down villages and tortured civilian activists
and bystanders.

Despite being routinely barred from the provinces, independent
observers like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Tapol
have all documented severe and endemic human rights violations by
Indonesia across West Papua. Indonesian special forces and
counter-terrorism units like Kopassus and Detachment 88 – trained by
Western countries – are implicated in beatings, extra judicial
assassinations and mass killings.

Such a heavy military presence, combined with racism and structural
economic discrimination against the indigenous Papuan population, can
only result in conflict and abuse.

We therefore call upon the government of Indonesia and our own
governments to take urgent and effective action to ensure that:

• The Indonesian military swiftly withdraws from West Papua and that
Indonesia demilitarise the region as a first step towards a peaceful
resolution to the conflict;
• Indonesia releases political prisoners and allows international
media, NGOs and observers into West Papua;
• The international community takes a firm stance on human rights
abuses in West Papua and calls for Indonesia to respect the Universal
Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a party.
• Military and police training and arms exports for Indonesia are
terminated until human rights abuses in West Papua cease, including
Australian, American, British, Canadian, Dutch, New Zealand, training
and funding of the Indonesian police’s counter-terrorism unit,
Detachment 88, at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation.
• Indonesia and the International Community recognize the historic
injustice of the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’, by which the population of
West Papua was denied its right to self determination and coerced into
joining Indonesia, and that they take steps to address the historic
injustice in a manner supported by the majority of Papuans.

Signed by:

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritis, MIT
Michael Webb, Lecturer, University of Sydney
Camellia Webb-Gannon, Research Fellow, Western Sydney University
Helen Gardner, Associate Professor, Deakin University
Grant McCall, Affiliate, University of Sydney
Nicholas Lawrence, Associate Professor, University of Warwick
Marcus Campbell, University of Sydney
Stephen Hill, Emeritus Professor, University of Wollongong
Julian McKinlay King, Researcher, West Papua Project, University of Sydney
Thomas Petersson, Senior Lecturer, Mälardalen University
Robert Amery, Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide
Grant Walton, ANU
Selogadi Mampane, Part-time Lecturer, Vega University
Cornelis Mara, University of Papua
Megan Williams, Senior Lecturer, UTS
Michael Atkins, Lecturer, City of Bristol College
Vivienne Yeki, Teacher, Christchurch Teachers College
Adeline Cooke, Visiting Lecturer, University of Central Lancashire

Source: academicsforpapua.org
Editor: Zely Ariane

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West Papua visit lacked transparency says Solomons group

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Downtown Jayapura – RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

There should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation’s visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.

This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia.

Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation’s departure for West Papua.

The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said

Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation.

Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. (*)

 

Source: Radio NZ

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Refuse dialogue, ULMWP said Acting Governor does not understand Papua

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Benny Wenda – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) firmly refused the offer from the Acting Papua Governor Soedarmo for a dialogue.

“It is the acting governor (Papua) and the Government of Indonesia that disturb the stability of the Papua’s nation. Papuans never asked Indonesia and its military to come to Papua. Indonesia is not aware of the fact it has deprived over the land of Papua and its people,” said Benny Wenda to rebutting the acting governor’s claim that the ULMWP is a group who is responsible to the disturb of political, economic and security stability in Papua.

Wenda confirmed by telephone on Friday (Oxford, Saturday, 5/5/2018) said dialogue is not the goal of ULMWP. The acting governor instead can have the dialogue with church leaders, Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), Papuan House of Representatives (DPRP) or Non-Governmental Organizations. “He can talk with the Church, MRP, DPRP and NGOs to address the problems that occurred in Papua. ULMWP is fighting for the referendum for the people of Papua. That’s our goal,” he said.

Wenda furthermore said what Papuans asked from Indonesia is not development but political liberation. “The acting governor does not understand the root of the Papuan problem; it is ashamed,” said Wenda.

The Acting Papua Governor Soedarmo earlier claimed to be ready for opening a dialogue with the ULMWP and the West Papua National Committee as well as other groups who keep voicing the struggle for the independence of Papua. “As the acting governor, I am ready for dialogue, but it should do on the basis of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and how we build Papua in the future,” Soedarmo said in a press release. Moreover, he said the dialogue should not be formal.

“That’s the way I appreciate. I am ready for a dialogue in the cafe, no need to do it at the office,” he added. (*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Solomons delegation to Indonesia sought balance

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Solomon Islanders have displayed strong support for West Papuans, including in this 2015 march through the streets of Honiara in support of a West Papuan bid to join the Melanesian Spearhead Group – Photo: Supplied

Solomon, Jubi – A Solomon Islands civil society worker says a delegation from his country which visited Indonesia sought a balanced view on West Papua human rights issues.

 

Wilfred Luiramo was one of several civil society people selected by the government to visit Indonesia, including West Papua and Papua provinces, last week.

 

Mr Luiramo said he wasn’t travelling on behalf of the group Forum Solomon Islands International, which he is chairman of, but rather as an individual civil society worker.

He said the Solomons government of Rick Hou was seeking a balanced approach on human rights in Papua region.

“Our relationship with Indonesia must be built and the human rights issue in West Papua must not be forgotten. It has to be part of the document. And generally, looking through it, Solomon Islands as a Melanesian country, and the West Papuan issue is very sensitive to us, we still feel that more can be done,” said Wilfred Luiramo.

Wilfred Luiramo said the approach on Papua being taken by Mr Hou’s leadership was different to that of the previous leadership of Manasseh Sogavare.

Of the rights situation, he said Papuans had different views on the issue of human rights abuses.

“Some propose that these things happen. Some say that these things happened previously, in the past,” he explained.

“So we have been collecting different views from them. All of them are not having the same view, but the issue remains that we try to make a balanced document out of all the informations we get.

Mr Luiramo said delegation members were yet to finalise their reports on the information garnered from the visit.

“We met with even the military generals, the governors and the CSO (civil society organisation) people, and tried to ask them what is their view… we keep trying to get a balance on it.”

He noted that some people saw the rights situation in Papua as having improved.

“Because Indonesia as a country is just coming to democracy in 1998, full democracy. Previously it was military-controlled.

“So they said there are improvements over time, and even some of the leaders told us, one of the common sayings, that ‘we are not a perfect country’ which is true.

“They are changing over time, and even some of the indigenous say that there are improvements within the human rights issue,” Mr Luiramo said, adding that some Papuans conveyed that they wanted independence from Indonesia. (*)

 

Source: radionz.co

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