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Home » , , , , » West Papua Report August 2013

West Papua Report August 2013

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on August 15, 2013 | 7:33 PM

This is the 112th in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua.

This report is co-published by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at If you wish to receive the report directly via e-mail, send a note to Link to this issue:

The Report leads with "Perspective," an opinion piece; followed by "Update," a summary of some developments during the covered period; and then "Chronicle" which includes analyses, statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a "Perspective" or responding to one should write to The opinions expressed in Perspectives are the author's and not necessarily those of WPAT or ETAN. For additional news on West Papua see the reg.westpapua listserv archive or on Twitter.


This month's PERSPECTIVE reflects on the ongoing diplomatic struggle over West Papuans' right to self-determination currently being waged by Papuan diplomats who have sought to hold the Indonesian government accountable for its violation of fundamental political and civil rights. The author, Octavianus Mote, is a prominent Papuan engaged in this effort.

In this Report's UPDATE section, a UN human rights review focused on Indonesia's excessive use of force in dealing with dissent. Commenting on the UN review, human rights organizations highlighted security force behavior in West Papua. Excessive use of force was on display during the month with the gunning down of an 11 year old Papuan girl. In late July, Papuans who sought to gather peacefully to note the UN meeting were blocked from assembling.
Five of the demonstration leaders were detained. Various voices have expressed concern over restrictions on media in West Papua, including arbitrarily enforced restrictions on foreign journalists, the recent closing of a Papuan magazine, and intimidation of Papuan media seeking to cover what the security forces consider sensitive subjects. The failure of central government provided services in West Papua is exemplified by an absence of qualified teachers in Papuan schools.

In a rare victory for the Papuan people and environmentalists, plans for an oil palm plantation in West Papua have been shelved due in part to opposition by local people backed by environmental activists. Elsewhere, new complaints have emerged from local people who have seen their forests taken without compensation by oil palm plantation developers. Indigenous peoples appeals to the companies involved in the theft and to government officials have gone unanswered.

Plans by the administration of President Yudhoyono to revamp the failed "Special Autonomy" law have sparked new critical comment by human rights advocates and local Papuans.

In this report's CHRONICLE section we note a particularly insightful article focusing on the Melanesian region, including consideration of Papuans application for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). Inside Indonesia and Papuans Behind Bars highlight prison issues. A Global Post account describes efforts by the Papuan exile Benny Wenda to draw international attention to the Papuan struggle for self-determination. His efforts have raised the importance of West Papua in the context of UK-Indonesian relations. Cornell University has devoted an entire special issue of its journal "Indonesia" to West Papua. Finally, we link to the video and transcript of the UK's House of Lords recent debate on West Papua.

Full Report Etan: Download PDF (5.7 MB)
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