West Papuans implore Australian support after 1 Dec brutalities

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Papuan democracy activists implores Australia for support as the Indonesian State again breeches its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Indonesian military-police, and intelligence in civilian clothes, violated the universal tenets of freedom of expression and assembly during a suite of operations against indigenous Melanesian West Papuans honouring their historic national day on 1 December. One brutal display took place in Pikpik, a village in the picturesque region of Fakfak on the south coast where fifty-four (54) civilians were attacked, arrested, tortured and humiliated (below).

Pikpik, Fakfak, 1 Dec 2019

Forty-three more West Papuans were arrested and assaulted and battered in Jayapura, seven in Merauke, as well as ten members of the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua in the tiny island of Ternate (North Maluku).

West Papuans interrogated in Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Abepura, 1 Dec 2019

West Papuans interrogated in Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Abepura, 1 Dec 2019

West Papuans interrogated in Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Abepura, 1 Dec 2019

Freedom of Religious rights were violated when state-armed forces invaded Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Abepura during Mass and arrested four students with flags and face paint (below). Manvin Yobe and Devio Basten Tekege (from Cenderawasih State University), Paul Zodhe Hilapok (Fajar Timur School of Philosophy) and Epi Dumupa (St Thomas Aquinas College in Sentani) were all interrogated in the church.

Subsequent to Defense Minister Subianto’s declaration to Parliament on 11 November 2019, that “the strong will do what they can and the weak will suffer what they must” it is anticipated those arrested will be charged with treason under Articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code.

The maximum penal penalty under Article 106 is twenty years. this can be doubled if Article 110 (mobilizing to commit treason) is invoked. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has criticized Articles 106 and 110 for being “drafted in such general and vague terms that they can be used arbitrarily to restrict the freedoms of opinion, expression, assembly and association.”

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) calls on President Jokowi for the release of all Papuan political prisoners, as well as Surya Anta Ginting from the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua, the first non-Papuan ever charged with ‘rebellion’ for West Papua’s cause.

The ULMWP also calls on President Jokowi to actively pursue his agreement for the UN Human Rights Commission to visit to West Papua, a demand of the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum (that includes Australia and New Zealand). The UNHCR Report is a necessary pre-requisite to the commencement of peace talks between Indonesia and the ULMWP that was demanded by the Indonesian provincial governments in West Papua.

Jacob Rumbiak, Spokesperson
United Liberation Movement for West Papua, 5 December 2019

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