Mysterious shootings in West Papua: under-cover strategy by Indonesian government to divert attention from independence movement

Speakers at peace rallies in Parliament House in Canberra and in Perth, Jayapura and Manokwari (West Papua), and in Washington are decrying what the Indonesian government claims are ‘mysterious shootings’ in Timika, Puncak Jaya and Jayapura city (eighteen this year). 

“These are not mysterious shootings, these are state-sponsored assassinations designed to deter the international community from supporting our political rights” said Jacob Rumbiak, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federated Republic of West Papua.

“There will be more shootings and more unrest if the Australian government, and Germany as well, fails to persuade Mr Natalegawa to lift President Yudhoyono’s 2006 ban on foreign journalists in West Papua. This is the least these two wealthy countries can do for their citizens”.

“Indonesia does not provide for the protection of any human rights in West Papua, let alone the West Papuans’ political rights” he said. 

The UN Human Rights Council report, released last week, was a searing indictment of Indonesian policies and practices.  It condemned Indonesia’s failure to even pass a law protecting Human Rights Defenders, which the Council had recommended in 2007 and again in 2008.  The best Mr Natalegawa could report was an agreement with the Indonesian Army (in 2011) to undergo training on the issue of torture.

“To compare Indonesia’s report on itself, with the UN Human Rights Council’s twenty-four-page bullet-point-analysis, released last week, is to compare heaven with the hell West Papuans live every day” said the American-based Papuan diplomat Herman Wainggai.

For comment (English, Indonesian) :

Melkias Okoka West Papua International Student Action (Melbourne)      Tel  0403 588 796

Herman Wainggai Foreign Diplomat (Federated Republic of West Papua)    Tel 0478 351 369
Visiting Scholar, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Virginia

Melani Kapisa West Papua International Student Action (Perth)              Tel 0452066354

Marthen Manggaprouw (West Papua), Prime Minister’s Office,
Federated Republic of West Papua                                                     Tel +62 81 344 542 118