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1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’ to be challenged at International Court

March 15, 2011

JUBI, 13 March 2011
[Slightly abridged in translation]

With the issuue of Papua gaining more attention internationally, it is now reported that there is a plan to submit a formal challenge against the Indonesian government, the UN, the US and the Netherlands with regard to the so-called Act of Free Choice -Pepera – that took place in 1969.

Pepera then became the basis for the incorporation of West Papua into the Republic of Indonesia.

A group of international lawyers, led by Mrs Melinda Janki from Guyana are preparing to make a formal challenge at the International Court in The Hague Netherlands.

This was announced by the Rev Socratez Sofyan Yoman during a meeting at which he launched his latest book called ‘Otonomi, Pemekaran dan Merdeka’. [See earlier item about this book]

He said that during his recent trip abroad, he was informed that an organisation called International Lawyers for West Papua which is chaired by Melinda Janki is making preparations to challenge Pepera at the International Court. He said that this is likely to happen within the next six months, during which time colleagues from several European countries, from Africa, the US, Australia, New Zealand, PNG and the Pacific countries will hold discussions on the possibility of challenging Pepera.

The ILWP intends to register its intention to do this in The Netherlands in August this year. ‘We hope and pray that this move will succeed,’ he said.

He explained that he personally was not involved in the move. He said that the ILWP had drawn together a number of documents that would be used as the basis for this challenge.

The ILWP was set up in Guyana in 2009 and has been helpful in raising the issue of West Papua on the international arena.

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