Urgent Action on Torture & Attempt to Kill One Melanesian from West Papuan in Vanimo, Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea
West Papua Refugee Relief Association (WPRRA)
West Papua Refugee Relief Association (WPRRA)

An Open Letter

To: Honourable James Marape, MP,
The Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby,
PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Subject:

Urgent Action on Torture & Attempt to Kill One Melanesian from West Papuan in Vanimo, Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea

Dear Honourable Prime Minister,

West Papua and human rights of Melanesians from West Papua has been a continuing issue since the invasion and occupation of our Melanesian land by foreign power called the Colonial United Republic of Indonesia (CURI).

The West Papua Refugee Relief Association (WPRRA) which was established in Port Moresby in 2010, hereby would like to present to Honourable Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea the “torture and assassinate attempt on one of Melanesians from West Papua who have been living in Vanimo, Sandaun Province for many years, after escaping from terror, intimidation and threat to life from Indonesian army and police forces in West Papua.

We attach the chronology of the event and our demand for immediate actions, and images of the victim. We will supply videos on our interview with the victim upon request.

Issued in: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
On Date:  28 September 2019

WPRRA Main Office,

Elimar Gombo                                                               Soni Yossi
Chairperson                                                                    Deputy Chairperson

Vanuatu PM calls for UN action on West Papua
Charlot Salwai Photo: UNGA
Charlot Salwai Photo: UNGA

Vanuatu’s prime minister has again pressed the United Nations General Assembly over human rights abuses in West Papua.

During his speech in New York, Charlot Salwai lamented how some Pacific territories are yet to break the shackles of colonialism.

Mr Salwai cited France’s territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia, as well as Indonesian-ruled West Papua.

He called on the administering powers to respect UN processes and ensure people in these territories can have their self-determination views heard.

Mr Salwai called for use of the UN system to find solutions to violations of West Papuans’ human rights.

“The resolution of the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum calls on the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua to conduct an assessment based on concrete proof regarding the human rights situation.”

Rayyanul Sangadji, a junior Indonesian diplomat from Ambon, Maluku, exercised the country’s right of reply to Vanuatu’s statement.

“As an Indonesian with Melanesian roots, I can tell you we do not like to be clustered, categorised, or worse, divided by another, faraway country,” he said.

“Papua is, has [been] and will always be, part of Indonesia.”

Source: RNZ

Indonesia: Jokowi Says Ready to Meet with Papuan Pro-Independence Leaders

Victor Mambor and Arie Firdaus = Jayapura, Indonesia and Jakarta

Residents drive past a burning government building in Wamena, in Indonesia’s Papua province, Sept. 23, 2019.
Residents drive past a burning government building in Wamena, in Indonesia’s Papua province, Sept. 23, 2019.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said Monday he was ready to hold talks with separatist leaders to solve the conflict in Indonesia’s Papua region, as thousands of Indonesians who had migrated there were evacuated from Wamena, a highland town where 33 people died in violence last week.

A protest involving hundreds of high school students that was provoked by alleged racist remarks from an instructor descended into chaos in Wamena on Sept. 23, with crowds setting fire to government buildings, shops and homes, authorities said. On the same day, security forces clashed with student protesters in the provincial capital Jayapura, leaving three civilians and a soldier dead, police said.

“I will meet anyone who wants to meet me,” Jokowi told reporters at the Bogor Presidential Palace, when asked if he was ready for dialogue with pro-independence groups such as the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB).

The government has blamed ULMWP and KNPB for the unrest that has gripped Papua and West Papua provinces since last month, when thousands of protestors took to the streets across the mainly Melanesian region demanding a vote on self-determination. The protests broke out over alleged racist epithets that had been used against Papuan students on Java island.

Authorities said five people were killed during the initial violence in August and early September, but Papuan activists said they recorded at least 13 deaths.

Officials said the unrest was intended to draw international attention to Papuans’ demand for a referendum during the ongoing 74th U.N. General Assembly in New York.

ULMWP chairman Benny Wenda, who is based in Britain, welcomed Jokowi’s gesture.

“We welcome what was conveyed by the government of Indonesia. But we will only hold dialogue if all soldiers and police are withdrawn from the land of Papua without conditions,” Wenda told BenarNews.

The chairman of Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) urged Jakarta to engage Papuan leaders in a dialogue.

“In my opinion, this is the best solution. If it is not resolved through dialogue, we are worried there will be greater ramifications, including an international intervention,” Ahmad Taufan Damanik told reporters in Jakarta.

Almost 7,300 people have sought refuge in police and military headquarters, as well in church and government buildings in Wamena after last week’s violence, said John Richard Banua, the administrative head of Jayawijaya regency, of which Wamena is the main town.

Tensions rose in Papua in December after separatist rebels allegedly killed 19 members of a crew building a highway in Nduga regency. Authorities immediately sent more than 750 soldiers and police to the region after the killings.

Five people tagged as suspects

Police have said that most of 33 people who were killed in last week’s violence were migrants from outside Papua. Five people had been named suspects over the riot, officials said.

The military said more than 3,100 migrants who feared they would be targeted had been evacuated to the provincial capital Jayapura.

“They will be helped to return to their home provinces, especially women and children,” armed forces chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters, adding that men had been advised to return to Wamena to rebuild the town’s economy.

Security Affairs Minister Wiranto also urged those who fled Wamena to return.

“You can imagine, if they flock out of Wamena, who will drive the economy?” Wiranto told reporters in Jakarta.

The Papua region, which makes up the Indonesian half of New Guinea island, was incorporated formally into Indonesia in 1969 following a U.N.-administered ballot known as the Act of Free Choice. Many Papuans and rights groups said the vote was a sham because it involved only 1,000 people.

Wamena resident Obelom Wakerkwa told BenarNews that the students who took part in the protests did not engage in vandalism and arson attacks.

He said he saw security forces firing warning shots in front of the protesters.

“That enraged the high school students and the situation became out of control,” he said.

Ahmad Syamsudin in Jakarta contributed to this report.