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Home » » Papuan clergyman condemns Indonesia’s ‘genocidal’ policies

Papuan clergyman condemns Indonesia’s ‘genocidal’ policies

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on June 26, 2008 | 12:37 AM

18 August 2006

By David Robie: Te Waha Nui Online

A visiting West Papuan church leader has accused Indonesia of genocidal policies in the Jakarta-ruled Pacific province and has called on New Zealand to press for an end to human rights violations in his homeland.

Rev Socratez Sofyan Yoman, president of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of West Papua, appealed to Jakarta to free West Papuan political prisoners.

He named 12 prisoners – Filep Karma, Yusak Pakage, Ferdinandus Pakage, Luis Gedi, Selvianus Boby, Rev Ishak Onawame. Antonius Wamang, Agustinus Anggaibak, Yulianus Deikme, Esau Onowame, Hardi Sugumol, Yairus Kiwak – and called for the release of “others not named” on his list.

But Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has declined to meet Rev Yoman during his month-long New Zealand visit.

Rev Yoman spoke at a public forum at AUT University tonight on the theme “West Papua – a hidden Pacific conflict” and was keynote speaker at a weekend seminar on the troubled province.

He also spoke at an earlier media conference at the Te Waha Nui newsroom.

He called on Indonesia to:

  • Stop sending more illegal migrants to West Papua
  • Abandon the controversial transmigration policy which has led to Javanese settlers now outnumbering the indigenous Papuans in their homeland.
  • Block the sale of alcohol
  • Halt plans to divide West Papua into provinces.

Rev Yoman said Papuans wanted the United Nations to initiate a review of the so-called Act of Free Choice in 1969, the document claimed by Indonesia as granting Jakarta the legitimacy to annex the former Dutch-ruled colony.

The clergyman claimed genocide was the result of militarisation of his homeland by Indonesian troops and police, transmigration, an enforced family planning policy to “depopulate”, alcohol and a rampant epidemic of HIV/Aids widely regarded as the worst in the Pacific.

“The Indonesian military and police presence in West Papua is to protect multinational companies like Freeport McMoran, Rio Tinto and British Petroleum,” said Rev Yoman.

“The military also protect transmigration and attack, arrest, torture, kill, rape and have imprisoned Papuan people continually between 1963 and now.

“The Papuan people watch only to see the migrants get more benefits freely without fear,” he said.

Rev Yoman also condemned Indonesia’s family planning programme as being designed to reduce the indigenous population.

“The Indonesian government always promotes that two children are enough for a family,” he said.

“Evidence shows that this programme is implemented much more seriously or intensively in West Papua than outside West Papua.

“Immigrant communities have several wives and Papuan men have only one wife.”

He said that Papua had been forced relentlessly to change from a Christian-Melanesian state to a Muslim-Asian one.

The clergyman showed graphic and chilling images of life under a repressive Indonesian regime.

Rev Yoman has frequently been harassed by military authorities in the past and his vehicle was smashed by mobile guard police in March in an attempt to intimidate him.

“But I will not be silenced – I must speak out for my people,” he said.

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