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Media Release: West Papua Action Auckland

December 2, 2018

West Papua Action Auckland

Box 68419
Auckland

Media Release: Foreign Minister called to act on arrests of peaceful demonstrators across Indonesia.

On 1 December peaceful demonstrations for West Papua’s freedom in many centres were met with a harsh crackdown by Indonesian security forces. The demonstrations marking West Papua’s national flag day, were held in Jakarta and many other Indonesian cities as well as in West Papua. At least 300 people were arrested, and many injured. In Surabaya demonstrators were confronted by a militia group armed with sharpened bamboo. The widespread protests across Indonesia represent a new era of activism in support of West Papua by Indonesian communities and it is outrageous that they are being attacked by security forces for peacefully expressing their views.

West Papua Action Auckland is calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to respond urgently to this outrage against the internationally guaranteed rights of the Papuan people and their supporters to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.

On 1 December well-supported solidarity flag raising ceremonies were held across Aotearoa. The people are responding to the pleas of their West Papuan neighbours and it is time for the Government to take note and take action.
For further information: Maire Leadbeater – 09-815-9000 or 0274-436- 957
Letter follows:

2 December 2018

Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

Dear Mr Peters

Yesterday, 1 December marked the 57th anniversary of the first raising of the Morning Star flag of West Papua in that country’s capital, then known as Hollandia. The date has deep significance for supporters’ of West Papua’s freedom both in the country and around the world. The day was marked in Aotearoa by at least 5 flag raising ceremonies – in Orakei nearly 50 people marked the day close to the Ngati Whatua marae.

Tragically, the Indonesian security forces cracked down on all attempts to commemorate this day both in West Papua and throughout Indonesia. We understand that as many as 300 people were arrested at peaceful commemorations in Jayapura, Jakarta, Surabaya, Palu, Kupang, Ternate, Makassar, Ambon, Poso, Sula, Timika, Merauke, Waropen and Tobelo. In Surabaya an anti-independence militia group staged a counter demonstration threatening the pro-freedom demonstrators with sharpened bamboo spears.

The widespread protests across Indonesia represent a new era of activism in support of West Papua by Indonesian communities and it is outrageous that they should be attacked by security forces for expressing their views.

Around 80 people are reported to have been arrested in West Papua’s capital Jayapura, where the headquarters of one of the main pro-independence organisations, the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB, was raided and vandalised. KNPB offices in other Papuan towns were also targeted by security forces as well a number of student dormitories. Several people were injured and we understand one was hospitalised.

We wrote to you recently about the mass arrest of over 100 West Papuan young people who were attending a meeting on 19 November.

The Indonesian Security forces are continuing to adopt a draconian response to peaceful dissent. This a blatant breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Indonesia is a state party. It is imperative that New Zealand speak out publicly to condemn this shocking affront to the rights and freedoms of the West Papuan people and their supporters in Indonesia.

Moreover this display of Indonesian repression should prompt an urgent review of New Zealand’s policy setting on West Papua. The Government should support the legitimate rights of the indigenous Papuan people to self-determination- the right denied to them in the 1960s and it should cease all equipment and military training support given to the Indonesian military and the counter-terrorism force Densus 88.

We look forward to your urgent response to this situation.

Yours sincerely,

Maire Leadbeater

For West Papua Action Auckland

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3 reports From INDOLEFT News service via re.westpapua list

2) Police stop pro-independence protesters from commemorating December 1 in Jakarta

CNN Indonesia – December 1, 2018

Jakarta — Police stopped hundreds of activists from the Indonesian Front for West Papua (FRI-WP), the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Papuan Central Highlands Indonesian Student Association (AMPTPI) from leaving the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) offices in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Saturday December 1.

The activists had planned to march to the Dutch Embassy in nearby Kuningan to commemorate 57 years since the declaration of West Papuan independence on December 1, 1961. From the Dutch Embassy they were to continue the action at the United Nations representative offices in Central Jakarta.

"But the protesters are still being blocked by scores of Brimob [para-military Mobile Brigade] officers (some in civilian clothing) at the LBH Jakarta exit gate", FRI-WP spokesperson Surya Anta told CNN Indonesia.

Anta said that although security personnel have prohibited the protesters from holding the action he asserted that they will still go ahead with the protest as planned and will push to be allowed to hold the march.

The demand being taken up in the action is Papuan independence from the Republic of Indonesia.

Police in several parts of the country have increased alert levels in anticipation of protests commemorating the anniversary of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) on December 1 and December 10.

Speaking earlier in Timika on Friday November 16, Mimika district police chief Assistant Superintendent Agung Marlianto said security had been increased in order to prevent unwanted incidents taking place during the OPM anniversary.

"We all hope that things will not happen that none of us want. The public doesn’t need to worry or be overly anxious", he said as quoted by the state news agency Antara. (wis)

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Aparat Adang Demo Aktivis Peringati Papua Merdeka".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181201090027-20-350363/aparat-adang-demo-aktivis-peringati-papua-merdeka

——————————


3) Police arrest 99 Papuan activists at pro-independence rally in Ternate

Suara Papua – December 1, 2018

Arnold Belau, Jayapura — As many as 96 activists from the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-WP) in Ternate, North Maluku, were arrested after police forcibly broke up a rally in front of the Barito Market.

A Suara Papua source from Ternate said that the FRI-WP action was closed down by police and intel (intelligence) officers and the demonstrators forced into trucks as they were about to begin protesting in front of the Barito Market.

The source said that several activists were dragged and assaulted as they were forced into the truck. "Several comrades who were at the action were dragged and forced to get into a truck by police and intel in Ternate", they said.

The source said that as many as 99 people were arrested, 12 of which were from West Papua and the remainder activists from FRI-WP. One of the protesters had to be rushed home because they were experiencing breathing difficulties.

"One of the people had difficulty breathing and was rushed home. 12 people were from Papua and the rest from Ternate. Currently they are being taken to Polres [district police station]", they said.

Ternate district police Tactical Police Unit head (kasat sabhara) M. Aninab was quoted by semarak.news.com as saying that the protesters will be taken to the Ternate district police station.

"We will take them to Polres, question them. If in the process of delving into the matter it is discovered that they committed a violation then they will be charged, but we will bear in mind that are still young and [they should be] given guidance", he said.

Earlier, the protesters sent a written notification of the action to the Ternate district police but it was rejected with police saying that the planned action was subversive (maker).

Upon arriving at the Ternate district police station they will be registered and those who originate from Papua will be separated from those from North Maluku.

FRI-WP is demanding that the Indonesian government resolved human rights violations in Papua and that the Papuan people be given the freedom to hold a referendum to determine their own future.

December 1, 1961 marks the embryonic birth of the West Papuan state. Every December 1, West Papuan people throughout the world commemorate the date as Independence Day.

On December 19, 1961 the Papuan state was dissolved by Indonesia with the declaration of the Trikora operation by founding president Sukarno’s in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta.

Suara Papua has sought confirmation of the arrests from Ternate district police chief Assistant Superintendent Ashari Juanda via an SMS message and two phone calls but as of posting this report there has been no response.

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

Operation Trikora was declared by Indonesian founding President Sukarno in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on December 19, 1961. It was an Indonesian military operation aimed at harassing and forcing the Dutch out of Netherlands New Guinea in 1961-62 rather than one intended to suppress a nascent independence movement.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Peringati Hari Lahirnya Embrio Negara Papua Barat, Polisi Tangkap 99 Orang di Ternate".]

Source: https://suarapapua.com/2018/12/01/peringati-hari-lahirnya-embrio-negara-papua-barat-polisi-tangkap-99-orang-di-ternate/

——————————

4) Papuan pro-independence rally in Surabaya attacked by nationalist thugs

Tirto.id – December 1, 2018

Tony Firman — A protest action by the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on December 1 demanding self-determination for West Papua has been attacked by a group of ormas (social or mass organisations) who demonstrated on the west and eastern sides of Jl. Pemuda.

The group, who came from a number of different ormas including the Community Forum for Sons and Daughters of the Police and Armed Forces (FKPPI), the Association of Sons and Daughters of Army Families (Hipakad) and the Pancasila Youth (PP), were calling for the AMP demonstration to be forcibly broken up.

"This city is a city of [national] heroes. Please leave, the [state ideology of] Pancasila is non-negotiable, the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] is non-negotiable", screamed one of the speakers from the PP.

At 8.33am a number of PP members on the eastern side of the road began attacking the AMP by throwing rocks and beating them with clubs. Police quickly moved in to block the PP members then dragged them back.

The AMP protesters had began gathering at the Submarine Monument at 6am before moving off to the Grahadi building where the East Java governor’s office is located.

However they were only able to get as far as the Surabaya Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI) building before they were intercepted by police from the Surabaya metropolitan district police (Polrestabes) and the East Java district police (Polda).

The AMP demonstration was held to mark December 1, 1961 as the day West Papua became independent from the Dutch. For the Papuan people, December 1 is an important date on the calendar in the Papuan struggle which is commemorated every year.

The historical moment in 1961 was when, for the first time, the West Papuan parliament, under the administration of the Dutch, flew the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag, symbolising the establishment of the state of West Papua.

Since then the Bintang Kejora was flown alongside the Dutch flag throughout West Papua until the Dutch handed administrative authority of West Papua over to the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) on October 1, 1962, then to the Indonesian government on May 1, 1963.

The UNTEA was an international mechanism involving the UN to prepare a referendum on whether or not the Papuan people wanted to separate or integrate with Indonesia.

The referendum, referred to as the Act of Free Choice (Pepera), resulted in the Papuan people choosing to be integrated into Indonesia. Since then, the administration of West Papua has been controlled by the Indonesian government and the flying of the Bintang Kejora deemed an act of subversion (maker) and responded to with violence and arrests.

Notes

Although it is widely held that West Papua declared independence from Indonesia on December 1, 1961, this actually marks the date when the Morning Star (Bintang Kejora) flag was first raised alongside the Dutch flag in an officially sanctioned ceremony in Jayapura, then called Hollandia. The first declaration of independence actually took place on July 1, 1971 at the Victoria Headquarters in Waris Village, Jayapura.

Known as the "Act of Free Choice", in 1969 a referendum was held to decide whether West Papua, a former Dutch colony annexed by Indonesia in 1963, would be become independent or join Indonesia. The UN sanction plebiscite, in which 1,025 handpicked tribal leaders allegedly expressed their desire for integration, has been widely dismissed as a sham. Critics claim that that the selected voters were coerced, threatened and closely scrutinized by the military to unanimously vote for integration.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Peringatan 1 Desember Papua, Demo AMP Surabaya Diadang PP & FKPPI".]

Source: https://tirto.id/peringatan-1-desember-papua-demo-amp-surabaya-diadang-pp-amp-fkppi-daNJ

——————————————————

https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/12/01/surabaya-counterprotest-300-arrested-in-west-papua-flag-demonstrations/

5) Surabaya counterprotest, 300 arrested in West Papua flag demonstrations

By PMC Editor
December 1, 2018

Pacific Media Centre Newsdesk

Hundreds of Papuan students faced off with counterprotesters in Indonesia’s second largest city of Surabaya today in a rally calling for the Melanesian region’s independence while pro-independence sources reported more than 300 people arrested in West Papua.

The Surabaya rally was organised by the Papua Students Alliance. The demonstrators chanted “Freedom Papua” in Surabaya city to mark December 1, which many West Papuans consider as the 57th anniversary of what should have been their independence, report news agencies.

The crowd, many of whom wearing headbands of the Morning Star flag – banned by Indonesian authorities, was blocked from marching to the city center by scores of counterprotesters from several youth organisations waving the Indonesian flag.

READ MORE: Mass arrests over West Papua demos in Indonesian cities

They confronted the pro-independence protesters with sharpened bamboos.

Several hundred members of anti-riot police prevented the two rival groups from clashing.

The protest ended after about two hours.

However, human rights sources reported tonight that Indonesian police and military had surrounded Papuan student dormitories in Surabaya and arrested 223 people. They were being detained at the Surabaya City sector police station.

The Free West Papuan Campaign reports that more than 300 people have been arrested across West Papua.

Peaceful demonstrations
In several regions of West Papua, peaceful demonstrations took place. Protests were reported in Jakarta, Surabaya, Palu, Kupang, Ternate, Makassar, Manado, Ambon, Poso, Sula, Timika, Meruake, Waropen, and Tobelo.

In addition to police intervention during public gatherings, the London-based campaign’s website said it had received reports that Indonesian security forces had also raided several student dormitories, and the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) headquarters was vandalised.

From the monitoring team, below is the interim report of arrests throughout West Papua and other parts of Indonesia:

1. Kupang – 18 people arrested.
2. Ambon – 43 arrested.
3. Ternate – 99 arrested. One of the activists was rushed to hospital due to suffocation
4. Jayapura around 85 people from 4 different locations: Dok IX, Abe, Jayapura and Sentani.
5. Jakarta – 140 arrested
6. Surabaya – hundreds involved in a long march towards Kamasan III student dormitary were confronted by tni-polri and some students were bruised from confrontation.
7. Manado – 29 arrested
8 Waropen – 7 arrested. Names: Jhon Wenggi, Yulianus Kowela, Monika Imbiri and Fiktor Daimboa
9. Sorong and Merauke, including KNPB HQ in Waena, Perumnas III: in lock down and an urgent need for advocacy at these places.

RNZ Pacific also reports mass arrestsover West Papuan demonstrations in several Indonesian cities.

Today marks the 57th anniversary of the first time West Papua’s flag of independence, the Morning Star, was raised.

In commemoration of the historic event numerous non-violent peaceful demonstrations and prayer vigils were organised around the country.

Worldwide flag raisings of international solidarity increase each year as the support for West Papuan independence gains momentum. In New Zealand, flagraising events were held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

This protests comes at a time of increased violence in West Papua, including suspected extrajudicial killings in the region.

Urgent issues of concern also include increased military presence, the killing of civilians caught in crossfire in the mountain regions, and armed civilian movements of Papuans protecting their villages.

The International Coalition for Papua (ICP) compiles data on political arrests and violence in West Papua. This information has been made public through quarterly reports. The latest ICP reports are at www.humanrightspapua.org

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