(Apologies for the delay in posting due to significant funding shortfall and time over-commitments from WPM team)
27 March, 2013
by Selpius Bobii, Abepura Prison
The ongoing conflict in Papua is deliberately generated and professionally driven by Indonesian government through its defence system, purposely to defend the sovereignty of Indonesia over Papua. Beside political conflicts, economic factors play a certain role in initiating conflicts in Papua. As a result, both Papuan and non-Papuan civilians suffer the consequences, but mostly indigenous Papuans suffer the worst outcome of these conflicts.
One of the regions in Papua that draws major attention of the Indonesian military is Paniai. The conflicts there that are deliberately initiated by the Defence force of the Republic of Indonesia in confronting the OPM troops led by John Yogi has left the people of Paniai in great devastation.
These ongoing conflicts have left the civilians in a frightening and intimidating situation because Indonesian Police and Indonesian National Army have been doing mass military mobilisation and convoys, committing sexual harassment and assaults on woman and girls, carrying out unlawful arrests, torturing innocent civilians, and raids from house to house, confiscating hunting tools like bows and arrows, axes, and knives. The local people had to move to the neighboring villages searching for refuge, food and health. Some of them got sick and died, some were shot dead by the Indonesian military.
Violence, intimidation and unlawful detentions by Police Army are escalating in Paniai in the last few weeks, especially to combat the (local) OPM movement led by John Yogi.
Marko Okto Pekei, SS (Activist from Timika Catholic Parish) reported that the tense situation in Paniai has been going for a long period of time following the forceful disbanding (by Indonesian security forces) of the OPM HQ in Eduda in October 2012. After the incident, Indonesian Security Forces deployed massive number of Indonesian Military personnel in Paniai.
On the afternoon of February 24th 2013 the people of Paniai witnessed the deployment of Indonesia Military into Paniai, 53 trucks dropped them. During the deployment, a source that did not wish to be named mentioned that an Indonesia police officer (told him) that, in February 2013 alone, the government ( especially the Defence Ministry) of Indonesia has deployed more than one thousand military personnel from Kelapa Dua Jakarta to Paniai. As a result, people in Paniai, especially fathers and young men, feel intimidated everywhere they go. They could not go out for gardening because of the fear that they would be suspected as members of OPM.
During that tensed situation, Marko Pekei also reported that there has been raids carried out in the middle of the night in the villages, unlawful arrest, torture, and forceful kidnapping, abduction and killing of innocent civilians in Paniai.
The latest cases for example are, Stefanus Yeimo who was shot dead by Indonesian Police (Brigade Mobile) at 15:30 (west Papuan time) in Kopo Paniai. He was shot when he and his friend were at a local store buying cigarette. According to the Indonesian Police (POLRI) the reason behind the shooting is, he was suspected to be member of OPM.
At 18:00 on the same day, Stefanus was buried by his family in Kopo village, Paniai.
Meanwhile, according to report from an Activist from Justice and Peace Division of Timika Catholic Parish, there is another victim from the Moni Clan; Indonesian National Army Special Team 753 in Uwibutu tortured him on Saturday March 23rd 2013 at 21:30 local time.
After the victim was arrested he was beaten, kicked and was dragged along the asphalt road. At that time few by passers witnessed that violent and unjust treatment. The victim was even dragged into the police checkroom and brutally tortured until the next day and he was rushed to the hospital for medication.
According to the relative of the victim who did not wish to be named, the victim was intoxicated but was not violent when he went to visit a family friend at the hospital. He left the hospital at 21:30 local time. That was when the Indonesian Army Special team 753 from Paniai unlawfully arrested him took him to their base and beat him up, tortured him and they took him the hospital.
In response to the escalating and ongoing violence in Paniai, We the Front PEPERA (Act Of Free Choice) would like to take this opportunity to demand:
1). Indonesian Army (TNI) and Indonesian Police (POLRI) to stop excessive terror, torture, kidnapping and unlawful arrests and shootings in Paniai.
2). Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander XVII and Provincial Police Commander to stop deploying military personnel in Paniai and as soon as possible withdraw the additional personnel that was deployed from Jakarta.
3). The military personnel who violates human rights in Paniai be brought to justice.
4) Cenderawasih Regional Military Commander XVII and Provincial Police Commander as soon as possible sack the Indonesian Army (TNI) and Indonesian Police (POLRI) personnel who are responsible for the ongoing violence in Paniai.
5). People, Government and Church to work together hand in hand, establishing communications from heart to heart in order to curtail the violence and human right abuses that has been going on in Paniai for a very long time.
6). Journalists to truthfully and honestly expose the real situation that has been happening in Paniai
7) Violence will never solve the conflicts in Papua, therefore We the PEPERA (Act Of Free Choice) Front would like to take this opportunity to demand the United Nation or a neutral third-party to immediately act unconditionally and according to the international law to end the political and social injustice in Papua.
This statement serves as guide and to be carried out by the concerning parties who thinks Papuans deserves justice, peace and security in Papua and especially in Paniai.
Selpius Bobii, Abepura Prison: Wednesday, 27th March 2013.
Selpius Bobii is the General Chairperson of Front Pepera (The United Front of the Struggle of the People of Papua) and is currently one of the “Jayapura Five”, Political Prisoners held in Abepura Prison, Jayapura, West Papua. The five (Bobii, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Dominikus Sorabut and Agus Kraar) were found guilty in an opaque and predetermined trial of Treason (Makar) charges, laid after the violent Indonesian security force crackdown on the Third Papuan People’s Congress in October 2011.
- Selpius Bobii: The Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: A Challenge and a Hope (westpapuamedia.info)
- Paniai sweeps intensify misery under Indonesian control as security forces ban music and torture priest (westpapuamedia.info)
- TPN in Yapen arrest local Indon police chief for abuses on civilians (westpapuamedia.info)
- Police Raids In Hospital Uwibutu degree Paniai- West Papua. THIS ACTION IS WEIRD OR NOT? (voiceoflovetruthandjustice.wordpress.com)
- Interview With Bucthar Tabuni, Chairman of the West Papua National Parliament (westpapuamedia.info)
- VIOLENCE IN WEST PAPUA: Engineering Security Forces and Ruler of Indonesia (voiceoflovetruthandjustice.wordpress.com)
- Annihilation of Indigenous West Papuans: Challenge and Hope (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Paniai sweeps intensify misery under Indonesian control as security forces ban music and torture priest (femonymous.com)
- STATE VIOLENCE WHICH PARALYSES COMMUNITIES IS INTENSIFYING IN THE LAND OF PAPUA: Press Release by KINGMI Church and Papuan Alliance of Baptist Churches (westpapuamedia.info)
- INDONESIA: Two teenagers are arrested and detained for two weeks over fabricated charges in Paniai, Papua (yasons.wordpress.com)
by Herman Wainggai*
January 21, 2013
It is likely that most US citizens who consider themselves informed about global events are aware of the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and East Timor, yet it’s likely that few people in the US are aware of the ongoing genocide in West Papua, New Guinea.
In Rwanda, genocide resulted in an estimated 500,000 deaths in a 3-month period; in Bosnia, genocide resulted in an estimated 200,000 deaths in a 3-year period. In East Timor, there were more than 103,000 deaths in a 3-year period; and, in West Papua, New Guinea, there are conservative estimates of 100,000 Melanesian Papuans killed, and 300,000 displaced or missing over a 47-year period. Remarkable is the disparity of time between the Rwanda, Bosnia and East Timor genocides, ranging from 3 months to 3 years, contrasted with the ongoing 50-year genocide of indigenous West Papuans. In the aftermath of the Rwandan 3-month slaughter of 500,000 people, the carnage was blatant, the atrocities flagrant.
In view of the continuing carnage wrought in West Papua by the Indonesian military during the past 50 years, we must wonder why most people in the Western world are oblivious to the indigenous Melanesians’ plight, and what factors are contributing to the protraction of such abuse.
Indonesia’s colonization and military occupation of Dutch-owned West Papua was achieved, and continues, with the blessing of the governments of the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, and facilitated by the operation of the world’s largest copper and gold mine owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., a US corporation.
In addition, for more than 50 years, some of the world’s largest transnational mining corporations have been exploiting West Papua’s oil and minerals, including Union Oil, Amoco, Agip, Conoco, Phillips, Esso, Texaco, Mobil, Shell, Petromer Trend Exploration, Atlantic Richfield, Sun Oil and Freeport (USA); Oppenheimer (South Africa); Total SA (France); Ingold (Canada); Marathon Oil, Bird’s Head Peninsula (UK); Dominion Mining, Aneka Tambang, BHP, Cudgen RZ, and most critically, Rio Tinto (formerly RTZ-CRA) (Australia/UK).
The exploitation of natural resources by extractive industries results in catastrophic harms to human and environmental health and indigenous societies. Typically, mainstream global media, most of which are in thrall to corporate interests, look the other way when such military/corporate injustices are perpetrated upon indigenous populations.
New Guinea is the second largest island on earth, and one of 20,000-30,000 archipelagos in the South Pacific. The island is divided vertically, with independent Papua New Guinea occupying the eastern section and West Papua, now an unwilling province of Indonesia, occupying the western side. There are more than 250 tribes, more than 270 distinct languages and thousands of different pidgin dialects.
In addition to copper and gold, abundant natural resources include natural gas, oil, timber and fish. These resources profit corporate interests and the Indonesian government without compensation to the Melanesian population, who live in poverty.
In 1969, the Act of Free Choice consultation was held in West Papua to ascertain whether the indigenous Melanesian population preferred to remain a province within the nascent nation of Indonesia or become their own independent nation. The consultation was fraudulent, and free participation by the indigenous people was nil. Only 1025 West Papuans, representing a population of one million, were picked ( by the government of Indonesia ) to vote and it was not implemented in accordance with international law of the New York Agreement on August 15, 1962 – One Man One Vote. It was a whitewash. Nobody gave a thought to the fact that a million people had their fundamental rights trampled ( CV Narasimhan, Deputy Secretary – General of the United Nations 1961 – 1978 ). Thus, the voiceless West Papuans became a province of Indonesia and the victims of 50 years of oppression.
The people of this forgotten land have struggled for freedom for 50 years under brutal Indonesian occupation. The people of the different tribes are raped, tortured and slaughtered, and their natural environment continues to be degraded. In their efforts to resist this injustice, their leaders have been arrested, tortured and threatened with death. For this reason, many now live in exile, where they continue to be involved in education and activism with the goal of enlisting the international community to join their efforts to achieve justice and freedom.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the rights of all people to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to peaceful assembly and association. Indonesia is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and Indonesia’s constitution also declares those rights. However, Indonesia’s continued arrest and incarceration of nonviolent political activists since the 1980s, and the October 19, 2011 arrests of more than 300 civilians during the Third National Congress, including Edison Waromi and Forkorus Yaboisembut, Prime Minister and President, respectively, will not deter Melanesians from their nonviolent struggle to secure self-determination within a democratic framework, and are recognized, respected and supported by the international community.
For this reason, many peaceful demonstrations took place around the world on
January 17, 2013. The Demonstrations commemorated the escape to freedom by 43 West Papuan refugees on January 17, 2006, when, after paddling across open ocean for four days and surviving a violent storm, they beached their traditional canoe in Australia and found asylum. Myself – Herman Wainggai - am one of those 43.
The Free West Papua Political Prisoners Team in Washington DC is a group of academics and human-rights activists who are willing to stand up for justice and work toward a free West Papua that is independent from military and corporate colonization.
Human Rights Watch reports that Indonesia has incarcerated nearly 100 activists from Maluku and Papua for peacefully voicing their patriotism and political views. As one of those former political prisoners forced into exile, I am now a visiting scholar at George Mason University, after being imprisoned for more than two years after daring to raise the West Papuan flag. My uncle, Dr. Thom Wainggai, died while imprisoned for the same demonstration of patriotism.
Free West Papua Campaign in Los Angeles, California
“I want to commend Moana Nui for organizing this demonstration on behalf of the people of West Papua to give voice to their fight for freedom and self-determination. We call on the leaders of all governments to stop supporting human rights abuses, murder, genocide and the military occupation of West Papua. To our brothers and sisters in West Papua: Continue to fight for what you know is right, for your freedom, your culture, for humanity. Know that, in this fight, you are not alone.” Harold Green. http://mnaa-ca.org/jan-17-2013-west-papua-action/
Free West Papua Campaign in Melbourne
Foreign Affairs Minister of the Federated Republic of West Papua, Jacob Rumbiak, said international activists are demanding that Indonesia remove its military personnel, and that president Yudhoyono must issue orders to stop the slaughter of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) members.
“Six activists were arrested and tortured in Serui yesterday for handing out pamphlets about today’s rally, including Patris Rosumbre (Vice Governor, Saireri State, Federated Republic of West Papua) and Menase Karubaba,” he said. Rosumbre has since escaped, but the whereabouts of Karubaba are not known, and there is deep concern for his safety.
The Federated Republic of West Papua has called for negotiations with the Indonesian government under the auspices of the United Nations since 2011, and, Rumbiak claims, “Indonesia is losing credibility with its international donors in failing to respond to our invitation.”
Free West Papua Campaign in the Solomon Islands
In a statement from Honiara, Chairman of Solomon Islands for West Papua, Rexy Roses, highlighted that more than 50 years of tyranny and
immeasurable human rights abuses suffered by the indigenous people of West Papua at the hands of the occupying Indonesian military forces is more than too much to bear, and it is now time for dialogue and negotiations to end the violence in West Papua and to allow a peaceful referendum. This year will be a challenging one, and we will ensure that the cries of the indigenous Melanesian people of West Papua be heard in every corner of the Pacific and beyond.
Since the recent peaceful demonstration in Yapen Island and Manokwari, I have been told that the military agents are increasing their violent activity in West Papua and in many other places around West Papua. It is not difficult to imagine the impact that tens of thousands of Indonesian troops have on the daily lives of the West Papuan people. This new action by the Indonesian military raises the question: Why would Indonesia send so many troops to West Papua? Is this to intimidate the West Papuan people, to deny us our freedom of speech and prevent us from peacefully gathering in the land of our ancestors to debate and challenge the domination of our land and freedom? This recent West Papua Media report clearly states that the Indonesian government does not provide for the protection of human rights in West Papua.
For West Papuans, daily life is a nightmare, full of pain, suffering, torture, rape and bloodshed. There is no freedom to speak or act freely. The systematic oppression, terror, intimidation, kidnapping, incarceration, poisoning and murder of indigenous Melanesians in West Papua has not changed since I fled the country in 2006. It’s time to support the West Papuan people in their struggle for human rights and political independence.
Herman Wainggai is a West Papuan civil resistance activist based in Washington DC USA, and former political prisoner. He lectures in strategic non-violence and civil resistance and is a visiting scholar at George Mason University, Washington.
- Herman Wainggai: Open letter to the President of Indonesia on eve of demos in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Police fail to provoke violence as demo in Manokwari ignores protest ban (westpapuamedia.info)
- What Kind of Solidarity for West Papua? A response to Martin Pelcher’s article ‘Fear, Grief and Hope in Occupied West Papua’ (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Advocacy Team Urges Unrestricted Visit by UN Special Rapporteur (westpapuamedia.info)
- Wewak PNG turns out in numbers to support West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Is West Papua being split up to marginalise the Papuan people? (westpapuamedia.info)
- A History of the Morning Star Flag of West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report December 2012 (westpapuamedia.info)
- KNPPB A Rival Organization Created By Indonesia To Compete With KNPB (westpapuamedia.info)
by Kim Peart
Is Indonesia about to lose its grip on the western half of New Guinea, a territory the size of France and ancient homeland of the Melanesian West Papuans?
“Again this issue should also be discussed at the Decolonisation Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. And when it comes, again, to whether you are an independent state or non self-governing territory, whatever, the human rights is an inalienable and fundamental principle of the United Nations. We will do all to ensure that the people in West Papua, their human rights should be respected.” 
To read of West Papua being raised in the context of the UN Decolonisation Committee by the Secretary-General is quite startling, for one specific reason: West Papua was removed from the list of colonised territories in 1969. This is unlike the situation in East Timor, which had not been removed from this list, becaming the trigger for their 1999 vote on self determination.
East Timor was a clear case of invasion in 1975, brutal suppression by a foreign power and liberation in a baptism of blood and fire in 1999. On the other hand, the West Papuan people were the victim of a brutal play of Realpolitiks during the Cold War.
After Indonesia gained their independence from the Dutch in 1949, Holland retained their territory in western New Guinea, preparing the indigenous population for independence. In 1957 Australia signed an agreement with the Netherlands to work toward the independence of the whole island of New Guinea and many Australians were involved on the ground in this preparation. 
In 1961 the Dutch administration formed a local parliament, including indigenous representatives and raised the West Papuan morning star flag, which flew along with the Dutch tri-colour across the territory and 1970 set as the year of independence. In this bright dawn of Papuan democracy, Australia helped to raised the hopes and expectations of the people of West Papua for freedom and self-determination.
Since 1949 Indonesia had been demanding control of the western half of New Guinea, even though it was, like the eastern half of the island, an ancient Papuan land. The Indonesian response was now to begin invading and a full-blown war with Indonesia appeared imminent, in which Australia would have fought along-side Papuans trained by the Dutch to defend their island homeland.
Wishing to avoid being drawn into a war with Indonesia, the United States intervened and told the Dutch to get out, Australia to butt out and gave the green light for Indonesia to take over half of New Guinea, as the new colonial master. This was deeply humiliating for the Netherlands and also Australia and brought into question the true independence of Australian foreign policy.
In this play of Realpolitiks, West Papuan lives, land and resources were used by Washington to buy a nominally pro-Western alliance with Indonesia and also access to Indonesian and Papuan resources. This action was nothing short of a slave trade and theft of land and property on an unimaginable scale.
Indonesia became the new colonial power in New Guinea in 1963 and the atrocities began, with as many as 400,000 Papuans being killed in an ongoing genocide, which has pushed the Papuan aside to make way for Indonesian occupation and immigration. When a vote for self-determination was held in 1969, the United Nations allowed Indonesia to run it completely and even the UN observers on the ground only witnessed 20 percent of the vote.
Could it be called a vote, when 1025 selected men were lectured under the shadow of guns, before being invited to step over a line drawn in the dirt? An armed rebellion was going in in West Papua at the time. Wishing to avoid the prospect of war with Indonesia, most nations voted to allow West Papua to be incorporated into Indonesia and be removed from the list of colonial territories. A few newly independent African nations objected.
Would the United Nations get away with such a vote today. Such a bizarre process would not have been accepted in East Timor in 1999.
If the West Papuan people deserve natural justice, then they have a right to a genuine vote on self-determination. If Indonesia wishes to hold its head high as a truly democratic nation, then they will agree to this happening. If Australia wishes to regain honour with West Papua, then we will support the rights of the West Papuan people to self determination, just as we did the East Timorese and the Papuans of eastern New Guinea.
Sadly, all Australians have blood on our hands when it comes to West Papua, because we did not stand and demand justice, but went along with a brutal theft, slave trade and on-going atrocity Just across our northern border, many West Papuans have been shot on sight for raising the morning star flag, or sent to jail for 20 years.
Filep Karma was jailed for 15 years in 2004 for raising the West Papuan flag and when recently offered remission by the Indonesian Government, refused to accept this, saying, “he preferred to serve out his normal sentence and demanded the Indonesian Government to apologise to the Papuan people for all the atrocities it has caused.” 
For decades West Papuan supporters around the World have raised the question of the West Papuan right to self-determination and the voice of the indigenous Maori was added to this throng at the recent Pacific Island Forum being held in New Zealand, when the leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, raised the West Papuan issue with Ban Ki-moon, declaring:
“Can I please ask that you support peaceful dialogue between the Indigenous People of West Papua and Indonesia, to put an end to the killings there and to find a strategy to get Indonesia out of a land that isn’t theirs.” 
1. United Nations 7 September 2011 (full transcript included below)
2. p. 882, ‘Current Notes on International Affairs – November 1957′,
Department of External Affairs, Canberra
3. Engage Media 29 August 2011
4. 3 News 8 September 2011
- KNPB on the recent acts of violence in Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls for Papuan Human rights to be respected (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report September 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
- AWPA: PIF should grant observer status to the territory of West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Statement from the West Papua solidarity gathering at Nga Wai o Horotiu, Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand (westpapuamedia.info)
Statement from the West Papua solidarity gathering at Nga Wai o Horotiu, Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand
8 September 2011
We are very encouraged by the statement of the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban ki-Moon, at a media conference in Auckland yesterday, 7 September 2011, that West Papua should be discussed by the Decolonisation Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.
Noting with appreciation the Secretary-General’s statement that “whether you are an independent state or a non-self-governing territory or whatever, the human rights is inalienable and a fundamental principle of the United Nations”, and “we will do all to ensure” that the human rights of the people of West Papua are respected, we therefore call on:
The United Nations Secretary General to act without delay, and:
- appoint a Special Representative to investigate the situation in West Papua – to review the circumstances and outcome of the 1969 ‘Act of Free Choice’, as well as the contemporary situation; and
- use his good offices to persuade the Indonesian government to allow free access to West Papua for media representatives from the international community and for non-governmental human rights organisations.
The Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in Auckland to act without delay, and:
- send a fact-finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation;
- support the West Papuan people in their call for peaceful dialogue with the Indonesian government;
- grant observer status to West Papuan representatives who support the people of West Papua’s right of self-determination; and
- recommend to the United Nations General Assembly that West Papua be put back on the agenda of the Decolonisation Committee.
The New Zealand government to act without delay, and:
- play a role in mediating and beginning the process of peaceful dialogue between West Papuan representatives and the Indonesian government; and
- cease all military ties with Indonesia until the human rights of the people of West Papua are respected.
Civil society to:
- support the West Papuan call for peace and justice, and for a process of peaceful dialogue with the Indonesian government; and
- take every opportunity to support West Papuans working for peace, justice, human rights and environmental sustainability.
Participating organisations: New Zealand non-governmental organisations Bicultural Desk of the Auckland Catholic Diocese, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, CORSO Inc., Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Philippine Migrant Centre, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Aotearoa Section; New Zealand based Coalition for Democracy in Fiji; and Australian non-governmental organisations Australia West Papua Association (Sydney), Institute of Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights, Medical Association for Prevention of War, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre (Australian Province), Pax Christi Australia and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Australia Section.
Photos from some of the West Papua solidarity actions in Auckland: are available at http://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa
Formatted copy of this statement: is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/wp-ngos0911.pdf
- AWPA: PIF should grant observer status to the territory of West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls for Papuan Human rights to be respected (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report September 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
- KNPB Press Release: Papuan people don’t need welfare, they want a Referendum (westpapuamedia.info)
- Police, unprovoked, shoot man in Merauke (westpapuamedia.info)
The People of PAPUA DO NOT NEED WELFARE Measures, But a REFERENDUM Needs to Take Place Immediately!
West Papua National Committee [KNPB] -
After the mass mobilization of the people of Papua on 2nd August 2011, and the conference of the International Lawyers on West Papua (ILWP) in Oxford England, conflicts and various cases of violence continue to occur in Papua. The events attracted reactions from various parties as they gave their boisterous opinions, statements, and speculative solutions, which do not touch the essence of the conflict in West Papua. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and various other parties still consider that the conflict in Papua is a consequence of an accumulation of problems rooted in poverty and underdevelopment, as well as the mere result of the failure of special autonomy.
In that perspective, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia feels compelled to issue a variety of policies and development programs in Papua. On the one hand, there are also groups claiming to act on behalf of the people of Papua and that take advantage of the people’s movement to negotiate a solution for a peace dialogue in the Republic of Indonesia, while at the same time, the Government is advised to unfold a Presidential Unit to Accelerate the Development of Papua and West Papua (the so-called “UP4B”).
Whereas, in fact, the people of West Papua clearly and openly demand the respect of their right to self-determination through a referendum. In the heart of every Papuan, there is the burning and irresistible desire to determine their own fate, a principle by which they strongly wish to run their own affairs and to stand as an independent country, free from any occupation. That inner voice resounds in every statement, every speech, every pamphlet and banner, every single time thousands of Papuans come together in mass actions mediated by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB), every single time demonstrations continue to unfold in Papua.
We see and hear in every speech that they, the people of Papua, have never demanded welfare and development through the policies of the special autonomy, nor did they call for UP4B or any other unit or plan, as a guarantee of life within the framework of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia. They do not complain because they are hungry or poor, as they live on their own land which is extremely wealthy, and which continues to be exploited by colonialists and capitalists. The one thing they want is the restoration and respect of their political right, a right that was seized by the forced integration in Indonesia in 1962 and the implementation of the 1969 so-called Act of Free Choice. The people of Papua form a legal entity under international law and by virtue of this they have the right to freely determine their own political future, through the mechanism of a fair and democratic referendum.
Because of the above reasons, we assert that the Government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has been mistaken in its understanding of the political upheaval in West Papua that continues to smolder. Speculative assumptions should not be used as a solution in the making of policy. Because in the end, policies that are disproportional will worsen the image of the SBY Government: the trillions of money which continue to be poured into Papua for the realization of Special Autonomy projects, the UP4B, as well as the financing of the army (TNI) and the police, will only add to the already poor record of corruption and persistent human rights violations.
Out of all these policies, the people of Papua will not accept a policy which would be the result of a compromise. The Papuan people will continue with rebellion. And all the way through, the Papuan conflict will never be suppressed by manipulation policies presented under the label of accelerated development.
We convey to the government of Indonesia that they should immediately stop all these policies and immediately show the political will to open up democratic space for the people of West Papua through a referendum, because under international law, the 1969 Act of Free Choice was flawed.
Victor F. Yeimo
Victor F. Yeimo,
- Comments on ICGs Hope and Hard Reality in Papua: (westpapuamedia.info)
- How the Papuan people Continue to Unite in Resistance: Victor Yeimo Interview (westpapuamedia.info)
- Photo Report: Mass ralllies show Papuans refuse to accept Indonesian Occupation (westpapuamedia.info)
- Indonesian Army shoot mother and 3 children in “crossfire” in Kalome, West Papua, as offensive escalates (westpapuamedia.info)
Full Report is available for download and distribution as a pdf Anatomy of an Occupation: The Indonesian Military in West Papua
and the Secret report is available Here
By Jim Elmslie and Camellia Webb-Gannon, with Peter King
Report for the West Papua Project at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS), The University of Sydney, August 2011
This report deals with a series of Indonesian military documents that were passed to the West Papua Project (WPP) in early 2011. The documents provide remarkable insights into how the Indonesian military (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – TNI), operates within the disputed territory of West Papua (disputed, that is, between the vast majority of Papuans and the Indonesian government), and how they view West Papuan civil society. The documents reveal the names and activities of Indonesian intelligence agents; describe how traditional Papuan communities are monitored; and include a detailed analysis of both the West Papuan armed guerrilla groups and the non-violent civil society organisations which promote self-determination. Identifying so many West Papuan leaders and others as “separatists”, these documents effectively show that support for independence is widespread and surprisingly well organised. West Papuans have long complained of living under an Indonesian military “occupation” and these documents go a long way to Anatomy of an Occupation: The Indonesian Military in West Papuasubstantiating this claim.
The authors of this report have sought to verify information contained in the documents where possible. Much of this information on individuals and Papuan organisations is already well known, although presented here more comprehensively in some respects than ever before. We can therefore be relatively confident that the documents are not fabricated or deliberately misleading, although they do contain inaccuracies, omissions and many obvious examples of false or misleading precision. Names of Indonesian intelligence agents, both Papuan and non-Papuan, are impossible to verify and have been left out of our report. We do believe, however, that the general modus operandi revealed in the documents is a fair representation of how the Indonesian military operates. As many diverse and disputed claims are made about the conflict in West Papua by the Indonesian and other governments, by international commentators and by the Papuans themselves, we believe that this information should be in the public sphere to increase understanding of this little-known, but intense, bitter and long-standing conflict.
The report is split into two sections. The first deals with the 97 slide PowerPoint presentation entitled, Anatomy of Papuan Separatists. The presentation itself can be viewed at http://sydney.edu.au/arts/peace_conflict/research/west_papua_project.shtml. This section acts as a running commentary on the slide show, explaining and contextualising what is an intriguing exposition of the West Papuan armed liberation movement and its non-violent civilian counterpart. The forensic details of the Anatomy leave the reader in no doubt as to the level of military scrutiny under which the Papuans live. It shows just how seriously the Indonesian forces take the threat of “separatism”, especially its attempts to reach out to an international audience. The presentation could accurately be renamed as an Anatomy of the Papuan Occupation.
The second section deals with an assortment of other leaked documents that flesh out the day-to-day reality of living under Indonesian occupation. In both images and text the daily tasks of security force members are outlined as they maintain a close surveillance on communities of traditional Papuans. Details of Indonesian agents – who they are, where they work, what information they can provide – are listed as small links in the heavy chain mesh of an occupation which has at its core the modern practice of “psychological warfare”, PSYOPS. This pernicious system of social control has created a pervasive atmosphere of terror amongst the Papuan population as their lives are manipulated by state actions and threatened with “black operations”. Unsolved, indeed uninvestigated, killings, beatings and rapes occur against a background of a rapidly changing demography as hundreds of thousands of non-Papuan Indonesians move into the province. Predominantly Muslim, the newcomers are adding another layer of tension and fear, as the Muslim-Christian divide widens – taking its cue from the threatened growth of radical Islam in Java and elsewhere.
PSYOPS, as practiced in West Papua, is analysed initially from a general perspective and then from the personal experience of several individual Papuans. As a tool of social control it has been effective in dividing the Papuan people, some of whom now form a Papuan elite that has prospered economically under the bureaucratic “reforms” enacted by the Indonesian government, particularly the creation of two provinces and some 23 new administrative regencies in Papua. However, these documents show that, despite PSYOPS and divide-and-rule administrative policies, there is a high degree of cohesion and unity amongst the West Papuan nationalist majority. Indeed, looking at the Papuan individuals identified in these documents it can be seen that West Papuan nationalism is spread throughout civil society, in the churches, youth groups, customary bodies and political organisations. Far from the desire for self-determination dying out, the younger generation of Papuan leaders is now stridently demanding the rights to which they are entitled by Indonesian law, albeit increasingly as a non-violent, civil resistance movement.
These documents show that Indonesian rule over West Papua can be characterised as an ongoing military/police occupation. Inevitably this involves the systematic infliction of human rights abuses on a civilian population. Our report concludes that Australia should not be co-operating as it does with the TNI elite special forces, Kopassus, because it directly implicates the Australian army and taxpayer in the suffering of the Papuan people. And all Australian military aid to Indonesia should be seriously reconsidered while the military dominated system of occupation persists in Papua. The political and administrative reforms that have benefited so much of Indonesia since 1998 need to be properly implemented in West Papua. Until then West Papua will remain a blight on Indonesia’s international reputation and a place of suffering for its indigenous Melanesian population.
 The West Papua Project, at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of Sydney, has operated since 2000 as an academic think tank and research center examining the conflict in West Papua between the indigenous Melanesian people and the Indonesian state and its security forces. During this period the WPP has held many conferences, workshops and briefings, and its affiliates have produced a wide range of publications including books, scholarly articles and reports.
This report is based on a series of documents recently leaked into the public domain that relate to military and intelligence operations in West Papua. The most important is entitled Anatomy of Papuan Separatists and it gives observers unprecedented insight into how the Indonesian army views the situation there. Organised as a confidential briefing document, presumably for senior Indonesian military, political and government figures, it clarifies a situation that is generally regarded as opaque. Other documents relate to the use of Papuan and non-Papuan intelligence agents by the TNI and efforts by soldiers to socialise with Papuan village communities (these documents are analysed in the second section of this report). While the Indonesian government bans foreign journalists and researchers from Papua’s two provinces, now confusingly named Papua and West Papua, in an attempt to block information on the situation from reaching the outside world, here is a case where the Indonesians themselves are providing a frank and comprehensive assessment. While undated, the Anatomy document’s reference to US President Barack Obama suggests it was written, or at least finished, sometime after his election on November 4, 2008.
Anatomy of Papuan Separatists is an extraordinary document in the form of an extended PowerPoint presentation. Produced by the TNI, it is a systematic and detailed analysis of the West Papuan political landscape, mapping who the various actors are and where they fit into a larger picture. Almost every leading West Papuan political and military player is included in this analysis – leaving one with the distinct impression that there is no other game in town except “separatism”. In fact the goal for most of the West Papuan leaders in this analysis is independence, which implies that this is also the desired outcome for the overwhelming majority of the Papuan people. So this document is both a study in “separatism” and a blueprint for a military occupation meant to combat that separatism. Separatism is shown to be not a rare sentiment held by the few, but rather the glue which binds together the West Papuan ethnic and political consciousness. We are given a valuable insight into how West Papua and its Indonesian occupation actually work.
The Anatomy file comprises 97 slides and methodically works through the various ways in which the West Papuans confront the Indonesian state. In broad terms the conflict is split between military and political spheres, with some overlap. Both of these spheres are explored in remarkably frank detail. The military analysis of the “separatist” movement is the most detailed ever undertaken, or at least revealed publicly, and shows just how extensive the armed opposition to Indonesian rule is. The Anatomy document provides details of 31 armed groups of the TPN (Tentara Pembebasan Nasional –the National Liberation Army), the military wing of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdeka—the Free Papua Movement) that are spread right across the two provinces (Papua and Papua Barat) that constitute the region referred to collectively in this report as West Papua. Rather than being the ragtag bunch of malcontents – which the OPM/TPN are usually portrayed as — this Anatomy shows them to be a relatively cohesive and deeply entrenched resistance army, highly committed to achieving their goal of independence from Indonesia, even though the Anatomy often seems to imply that all the dozens of groups it identifies across a 40 year period are still functioning pretty much as when first identified.
Before proceeding with analysis of the document we have three general comments.
First, we wish to highlight the pervasiveness of the phenomenon of “separatism” as seen from the (Indonesian military) author’s point of view. Demands for dialogue; the “return” of Special Autonomy to Jakarta, and for demilitarisation, improved human rights, an end to discrimination, economic marginalisation and environmental devastation in West Papua — all amount to only “separatism” in the Anatomy. And separatism is viewed as a legitimate thing for the military to attack; separatists are enemies of the Indonesian state, and therefore enemies of the military and the police. There is no attempt to understand where this sentiment comes from, just to identify its existence to be targeted for destruction. That there are so many separatists does not seem to faze the author(s) of the Anatomy; just to reinforce his (their) sense of mission.
There is little discussion of those Papuans who are not separatists. There are undoubtedly Papuans who have thrown in their lot with Indonesia, one of whom is identified in the Anatomy, Franzalbert Joku. He is the only person of the hundreds listed who has “returned to Indonesia”. Joku is a well-known former independence activist who has given up the struggle as a hopeless cause and works hard to convince other “separatists” to do the same. Later in this report we will explore Joku’s views further as well as those of other prominent Papuans who have eschewed the struggle for freedom.
Second, it is noteworthy that there are so many “separatists” identified in the Anatomy, and that they include so many of the most prominent people from the three generations since the Indonesian takeover of Papua in 1962-3 is striking. While most outside observers dismiss the chance of achieving independence as remote if not impossible, given the power and determination of the Indonesian state and the comparative weakness of the Papuans, many Papuans do not. They are fully committed to the struggle. In fact these documents show that the younger generation, those in their 20s and 30s, are as committed as the older generations. Together the Papuans listed in this document represent most of the current leading figures in West Papuan society. The Anatomy shows how seriously the Indonesian state and military consider the threat of separatism, and indeed it places the people named under grave threat of targeted assassination. Some of them have indeed already been killed since the publication of the document (for instance OPM leader Kelly Kwalik). This has led some informed readers of the Anatomy to describe it as a “hit list” of people targeted for removal.
Thirdly, this document tells us how the Indonesian military views the West Papuan political structure. To an outside observer it is hard to grasp how all the multiple military, social and political Papuan groups relate to each other. Here this complex situation is laid out with surprising clarity: there are traceable lines of authority and engagement — even between various “factions” and geographically isolated groups. One reason that Jakarta has given for refusing to negotiate with the West Papuans over the myriad problems that beset the province is that “we do not know who to negotiate with”. This document undermines that pretext.
 These documents have been referred to in a blog site on the internet dated January 30, 2011 at www.nokenlama.blogspot.com/2011/01/kisah-tentang-kekerasan-seksual.html in an entry entitled “Story About Sexual Violence in West Papua [By] Army Personnel”, which refers to “an article titled An Anatomy of Separatists in Papua, [by] Maj. D. Arm Fence”. The article was published by the Secretariat for Justice and Peace, Archdiocese Merauke, Papua. Some others of these documents have been quoted previously (see allannairn.com), although many appear to be new, or at least to have received no public analysis; hence this report.
 The author of the Anatomy document is named as Major Arm Fence D Marani.
 Private conversation with senior Indonesian officials accompanying President Yudhoyono on his visit to Australia, Sydney University, 8 March, 2010.
- SMH: Under the long arm of Indonesian intelligence (westpapuamedia.info)
>Bintang Papua, 10 August 2011
[A very lengthy report, abridged in translation by TAPOL]
Only a state can challenge the Act of Free Choice
Jayapura: Although no official report has yet been received about the
results of the International Laywers for West Papua conference in Oxford
on 2 August with regard to challenging the 1969 Act of Free Choice
(pepera) at the International Court of Justice, Imparsial-Jakarta says
that a challenge can only be successful if it is made by a state, not
by an organisation like ILWP.
Poengki Indarti, the executive director of Imparsial, an organisation
that frequently draws attention to the activities of the Indonesian
military in West Papua as well as to the human rights situation there,
said that the ILWP is not a state and furthermore, pepera was
legitimised by the United Nations while virtually all countries
recognise that West Papua is part of NKRI, the Unitary State of the
Republic of Indonesia.
She said that what Benny Wenda is trying to do via the ILWP and the
IPWP is to win as much support as possible from countries around the
world which show an interest in West Papua’s secession from Indonesia.
However, this is very difficult indeed because all countries with the
exception of Vanuatu support the incorporation of West Papua into
Indonesia. ‘What they are trying to do is get the support of some
hopefully sympathetic states. I dont think people should overact to the
decisions adopted by the ILWP conference,’ she said.
However, Yan Christian Warinussy, executive director of Papua-based
human rights NGO, LP3BH, said that any challenge with regard to ‘legal
standing’ would depend on the interpretation of the judge before whom
the case is brought. He said: ‘As regards any efforts to challenge
pepera that may be made by the ILWP, anyone and in particular the
Papuan people could submit a challenge because it relates to their
rights as Papuans . If in the opinion of the judge before whom the case
is brought, an organisation such as the ILWP has been granted the
necessary powers by the Papuan people, the case can of course be
accepted.’ He went on to say that it would be much more strategic for
the challenge to be made first of all at the national level because
Indonesia has its own legal system and it is not certain that a
decision would be adopted by the International Court in a case
connected with a sovereign state like Indonesia.
‘Therefore, I would press for the challenge to be made within the
Indonesian legal system which could be done by the Papuan Customary
Council (Dewan Adat Papua) or another organisation that has been granted
the necessary powers,’ said Warinussy who received the John Humphrey
human rights award in 2005.
The Imparsial director-general said that she thinks that all
stakeholders in Papua should focus primarily on peaceful endeavours and
dialogue to find a ‘middle way’. If everyone sticks to their own
opinion, the ones whose interests are damaged are the Papuan people who
do not have a very good understanding of political affairs. (sic).
Meanwhile, she drew attention to the long drawn out Papuan problem with
many actions being taken about the unsatisfactory implementation of
OTSUS (the special autonomy law), many acts of violence that have
resulted in civilian lives being lost, as well as actions calling for
independence, all of which point to the lack any serious attention from
the central and provincial governments. She said that the Indonesian
government is half-hearted about Papua and seems to want conditions in
Papua to stay the same as they are now. ‘We all hope to see the
government pay serious attention to Papua.’ She said it seems as though
the government just wants to keep the conflict in Papua going. It shows
no interest in enacting regulations or laws and seems to be acting at
cross purposes, with the government frequently pursuing the repressive
approach while the military have said that that they have made drastic
changes in the way they handle Papua. However, people feel that the
situation is no different from what it was in the past.
‘In the many cases of violence, it is the task of the police to
investigate who was responsible but nothing concrete has happened, while
Papuans are asking whether it was the real OPM or a fictional OPM that
certain state institutions are keeping alive. Everyone is looking to
the government to explain things because as yet the Papuan question
has not been resolved whereas the government is not serious about
A case in point is what Benny Wenda is doing in the UK. Although Poengky
Indarti has checked the Interpol list of fugitives and saw that he is a
fugitive registered with Interpol, he is nevertheless free to seek
support overseas while no action is taken against him either by the
Indonesian government or the Indonesian police. The government is
deliberately keeping the Papuan problem hanging in the air, from the
polemics about the failure of OTSUS, to the breaches of security and the
shooting incidents as well as the calls for independence that have
caused much anxiety among the civilian population, whereas the
government still doesnt regard Papua as a problem that is in need of
- The legal road for West Papua: a dead-end? (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua: the road to freedom? (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report August 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
- Photo Report: Mass ralllies show Papuans refuse to accept Indonesian Occupation (westpapuamedia.info)
The legal road for West Papua: a dead-end?
Legal actions might assist the West Papuan struggle for freedom, but this approach is extremely difficult and entails significant risks. Using the courts plays to the opponents’ strengths: it may not do much to erode Indonesian rule in West Papua, and risks reinforcing it. Priority needs to be put on nonviolent strategies involving large numbers of ordinary people, particularly inside West Papua.
Risks of a legal strategy
Firstly, using legal channels requires considerable money and resources and thus restricts involvement by ordinary people. Even with high profile pro-bono support, any legal case will be extremely expensive. Although West Papua is rich in natural resources, the movement is short on cash. The Indonesian government will do all it can to delay and derail the case going to court, both in Indonesia and internationally. If the case does make its way to the courts, the Indonesian government will spare no expense in fighting it. Legal battles are not won solely by money, but it definitely helps. In court, the movement will be fighting an opponent with more money and resources.
Secondly, a legal strategy favours the powerful. In terms of access to people of influence on the world stage, the Indonesian government has more power than the movement. Government power is not the only kind of power operating, but it is worth factoring the Indonesian government’s considerable international influence into an assessment of whether to pursue legal actions or how such a strategy might be strengthened.
Thirdly, there are technical legal issues. There is a risk that the case might never be heard simply because the court accepts objections such as that the plaintiffs are mischievous and or the court does not have jurisdiction. Even if the case does get to an international court there is no guarantee the challenge will be successful. A failure to win the case, even on technical grounds, could undermine the cause for self-determination by giving a legal stamp of approval to the Act of Free Choice.
Fourthly, even if the case is successful, there is no guarantee of any subsequent political change. This is the lesson from many other struggles relying on courts and official bodies.
Consider the United Nations. There have been numerous resolutions by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Commission condemning the Indonesian government’s invasion of East Timor and the subsequent human rights violations committed under the occupation. All were ignored by the Indonesian government, some for decades.
In the 1990s, the International Court of Justice was asked to rule on the legality of nuclear weapons under international law. The court gave an opinion, some parts of which supported the goals of anti-nuclear campaigners. However, no government with nuclear weapons took any substantial action, such as moving to disarm, in response to the court opinions.
The situation is similar in West Papua. The Indonesian government’s occupation is clearly illegal, as Saltford and Drooglever have shown convincingly. The Indonesian Government will be unlikely to give up its rule of West Papua just because an international court rules the occupation illegal.
Finally, a legal strategy could act as a dampener on dissent inside West Papua. It could reinforce the belief that Papuans themselves don’t have to actively struggle for their own liberation, because powerful outsiders will save them.
Courts are examples of “official channels” – and they do not work well when dealing with powerful perpetrators, such as governments. People often believe that official channels provide justice, yet they heavily favour those with more money and power. Official channels are usually very slow, can be expensive, and restrict opportunities for non-experts to participate. Issues are taken out of the public domain and moved it to more restrictive arenas, such as courts, that are usually less sympathetic. Even when official channels come up with good recommendations, governments often do not act on them.
The case of West Papua is essentially about power politics and vested economic interests. Therefore, winning in the court of public opinion (in other words building a powerful social movement) and raising the political and economic costs of the Indonesian government’s continued occupation will be more decisive than a legal victory. However, the two strategies could be complementary.
Strengthening a legal case through building a people’s movement
In the past 25 years, international boundaries have been dramatically redrawn and numerous countries have become independent. On 9 July 2011, South Sudan became the world’s newest state. Before that Kosovo and East Timor became independent. During the late 1980s and early 1990s several republics of the former Soviet Union also became independent. The overwhelming majority – with the exception of Romania – did so through nonviolent means. Some, like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, won national liberation even though half their population was made up of Russian immigrants. What was decisive about all these movements was that they undermined the occupiers’ legitimacy and disrupted their rule. That outcome can be achieved through violent or nonviolent action.
By nonviolent action we mean sustained, unarmed and extra-parliamentary collective action in the pursuit of political and social goals. Nonviolent action has been used in dozens of countries. Also called people power or civil resistance, nonviolent campaigns have ousted dictators, resisted coups and been effective in challenging racism, exploitation and other injustices.
The history of the international movement against nuclear weapons shows that governments have been most constrained when protest is vigorous. When protest has waned, military races have accelerated.
Recent research into self-determination struggles waged between 1900 and 2006 shows that struggles for independence or national liberation and territory are very difficult to win, even more difficult than removing a dictator like Suharto or Mubarak. Chenoweth and Stephan compared whether armed or nonviolent struggle was more likely to produce self-determination outcomes (like independence). They found that violent and nonviolent struggles had roughly equal chances of succeeding – about 25%.
With equal odds of success, nonviolent struggle is definitely more desirable: it causes less loss of life, allows for greater participation of ordinary people, and lays the basis for a free and open society after independence. In contrast armed struggle results in higher casualties, less participation and a greater likelihood of post-independence repression. Mixing armed and nonviolent struggle tends to contaminate the gains won by nonviolent struggle.
So what helps these movements succeed? Specifically, what might improve the prospects of the West Papuan freedom movement? Here are some possibilities that could be part of a nonviolent struggle.
- Make the violence of the Indonesian government and the nonviolent resistance of the Papuans visible to transnational networks that mobilise on behalf of Papuans.
- Expose the failure of governance in West Papua by withdrawing support for, or co-opting, state institutions like the Majelis Rakyat Papua (MRP), Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Papua (DPRP – the two Provincial parliaments in Papua Province and Papua Barat Province), local parliaments (DPRD – Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah) and the civil service.
- Use nonviolent sanctions to impose economic and reputational costs on transnational corporations in West Papua.
- Take the struggle to mainstream Indonesia and the societies of the Indonesian government’s elite allies, for example Australian and British governments and corporations.
- Coordinate with transnational activist networks to alter the Indonesian government’s willingness to maintain the occupation and to affect its capability to do so.
When it comes to challenging the Indonesian government’s legitimacy in West Papua, it is also vitally important that local Papuan and transnational solidarity movements continue to expose not only the historical denial of self-determination but also the ongoing failure of governance. This includes collecting and publicising the testimonies of surviving participants in the Act of Free Choice, participating in strikes, boycotts, noncooperation with Special Autonomy, establishing autonomous cultural, religious, economic and political institutions and other forms of mass based nonviolent challenges to Indonesian rule. Student and youth groups in particular have taken many initiatives; other groups can become more active, including churches, members of the MRP, members of the Papuan civil service, teachers, health workers, Papuan workers in resource extractive industries – and people like those gathered here today.
A legal strategy has the potential to strengthen the case that Indonesian rule in West Papua is totally illegitimate, but only if, at the same time, Papuans themselves are actively refusing to cooperate with, and nonviolently disrupting, Indonesian rule in West Papua. Faced with an adverse legal opinion, but without sustained and widespread protest, the Indonesian government will simply and legitimately point out that Papuans are participating in elections, that local Papuan politicians are in the positions of Governor and Bupati, that the MRP, provincial and local parliaments represent Papuan interests, and that there is a large Papuan civil service running the country.
A legal strategy without a powerful people’s movement is like a bird of paradise with only one wing. It looks appealing but it won’t fly.
 Solidarity activist, civil resistance educator and doctoral candidate at the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Queensland.
 Pieter Drooglever, An Act of Free Choice: Decolonisation and the Right to Self-Determination in West Papua, Oxford: Oneworld Publications (2009)
 Kurt Schock, Unarmed Insurrections: People Power in Nondemocracies, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (2005); Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Boston: Porter Sargent (1973); Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton-Ash, Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experiment of Nonviolent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2009).
 Lawrence S. Wittner, The Struggle against the Bomb (3 volumes), Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993–2003).
 Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, New York, NY: Columbia University Press (2011).
- West Papua: the road to freedom? (westpapuamedia.info)
- West Papua Report August 2011 (westpapuamedia.info)
- House of Lords question on West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- Sorry: Indon Army Backs Down Over Threats (westpapuamedia.info)
- BBC: US Firm Freeport Struggles To Escape Its Past In Papua (westpapuamedia.info)