Every week I write a political issue that affects YOU and the World Around You.
This Week’s Political Report: The Indonesian Massacre of 4,000 Black West Papuans
Warning this post contains a disturbing image
In a recent report, published in October 2013, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) accuses Indonesia for exterminating 4,000 Black West Papuans from the year 1977-1978 for the sole purpose of hate and reckless power. While the world maybe fixated on the war on Terrorism in the Middle East, it’s important to remember that West Papua, and other countries, are suffering from the ills of injustice; not because of religion, politics or ideology but because of how they look and how they live their lives. The Black West Papuans are facing potential genocide while the world sits back idly in the comforts of their own home.
The people of West Papua (on the Western half of the island of New Guinea) have suffered under the Indonesian occupation since 1962. Over 500,000 civilians killed, and thousands more raped, tortured and imprisoned. Foreign media and human rights groups are banned in West Papua; so people rarely hear about this story. Despite this ban there is, however, a proud faction of activists that are utilizing modern technology to help West Papua achieve self-determination: The Free West Papua Campaign.
The Free West Papua Campaign is bringing the story of West Papua to the world while campaigning for freedom and justice in West Papua–to end 50 years of brutal violence. Indonesia’s illegal occupation of West Papua have denied West Papuans their right to self-determination and has led to countless human rights abuses.
Here are some examples of human rights abuses that have occurred in West Papua:
- In 2012, the KNPB chairman, Mako Tabuni, was killed by Indonesian police, for raising the West Papuan flag.
- On October 2011, A West Papuan man was tortured with a machete (to his nose) by an Indonesian solider, during a harrowing incident that captured international media attention.
- 1977-78, Report says Papuans in the Central Highlands were victims of napalm bombing and indiscriminate shooting from the air, sometimes from aircraft supplied to the Indonesian military by Australia and the world’s beacon of democracy the US.
- July 2012, Jeny Badi, an 18-year-old Papuan student was gang raped by the Indonesian military and then shot dead.
- Today, Filep Karma a West Papuan is serving a 15 year jail sentence for simply raising his national flag.
How Does this Affect You and the World Around You?
- The Indonesian Military has special relations its western ally Australia for over 50 years (In that same AHRC report, villagers in the Bolakme area reported that they were expecting aerial aid from Australia, instead they were bombed by American-supplied planes.)
- Australia is an ally of the US and can easily be tied to American politics, such as budget appropriations to military operations and personnel across the world
- Apartheid still exists. A form of discrimination that Nelson Mandela has fought for his whole life.
- Continued disturbing images of ongoing reports of villages being burnt, Papuans being arrested, tortured and shot and its beautiful natural wilderness being devastated by logging, mining, agricultural and biofuel interests.
“The crimes committed against the people of West Papua are some of the most shameful of the past years. The Western powers have much to answer for, and at the very least should use their ample means to bring about the withdrawal of the occupying Indonesian army and termination of the shameful exploitation of resources and destruction of the environment and the lives and societies of the people of West Papua, who have suffered far too much.”
–Prof Noam Chomsky
Both the Indonesian and Australian governments have failed to comment on the subject including General Wiranto who is now running for Indonesian Presidency in 2014. And with each passing day the Black West Papuans are losing their lives and rights to self-determination. Like Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela we must also raise awareness of social injustice and act on peaceful means of civil disobedience.
In a world that is full of injustice, we must make sure that it, and evil, does not prevail.
- West Papua massacre: Sydney University ‘tribunal’ demands Biak slaughter probe (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Weekly Political Tweet: Passing A Bipartisan Budget Deal – Averting Another Government Shutdown (princesdailyjournal.com)