We Will Lose Everything: CJPC Brisbane’s shadow fact finding mission finds no improvement in human rights in West Papua

WE WILL LOSE EVERYTHING: A Report on a Human Rights Fact Finding Mission to West Papua

Conducted by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane

1 May 2016

CJPC Brisbane’s report on its shadow human rights fact finding mission to West Papua this year finds that there is no improvement in human rights in West Papua.

It calls for action at the UN to investigate human rights abuses and for the Indonesian Government to negotiate with the United Liberation Movement for West Papua to find a pathway towards self determination.

“We will lose everything!” This was the grim prediction made by the four members of the Executive of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) when they presented their three year campaign strategy to a Brisbane meeting of representatives of solidarity groups from around the South Pacific in January 2016. When ULMWP Secretary-General, Octovianus Mote, uttered these words on behalf of his colleagues, both the anguish of the people of West Papua and their grim determination to overcome their oppression was evident in his voice. Faced with becoming a small minority in their own land within a few short years and living with unrelenting intimidation and brutality at the hands of the Indonesian Government’s security apparatus together with rapidly growing economic and social marginalisation, he stressed the need for urgent action to stop the violence in their land and to secure an international commitment to give their people a genuine opportunity to freely determine their future. The message was clear. The situation in West Papua is fast approaching a tipping point. In less than five years, the position of Papuans in their own land will be worse than precarious. They are already experiencing a demographic tidal wave. Ruthless Indonesian political, economic, social and cultural domination threatens to engulf the proud people who have inhabited the land they call Tanah Papua for thousands of years.

One week after the meeting in Brisbane, a two person delegation from the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane set foot on Papuan soil to speak to Papuans directly about their situation. The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Summit in Port Moresby in September 2015 had agreed to send a human rights fact-finding mission to West Papua, but the Indonesian Government has not allowed this to happen. One of the Commission’s objectives in sending the delegation was to build relationships with the Church in West Papua for future collaboration on human rights and environmental issues. However, because of the Indonesian Government’s unwillingness to accept a PIF mission, our delegation effectively became the first of a number of shadow human rights fact finding missions to West Papua from the Pacific.

Read the full report at the https://cjpcbrisbane.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/we-will-lose-everything-may-2016.pdf

 

One thought on “We Will Lose Everything: CJPC Brisbane’s shadow fact finding mission finds no improvement in human rights in West Papua

  1. The plight of the West Papuans and theur struggles for self determination has been continuously ignored since 1961. It has been deliberately been done so. If the justice has to prevail than who will make it happen? Obviously its gona be the UN. The long and unending struggle endured by the our Melanesian brothers and sisters across the border is very inhuman at the hands of the brutal Indonesian regime since then. If Indonesia has let go East Timor than it must also let West Papua gain self determination and the eventual independence. UN should be held accountable for continuously ignoring West Papuan issue.

    Ray Iningi,
    Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

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