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Indonesian Occupation of West Papua


In October 2006, Channel 4 broadcast an episode of Unreported World called West Papua: Rainforest Warriors. Apparently it has not been broadcast in any country other than the UK, but it is currently available on YouTube in three parts - here is Part 1.


There is now a Wikipedia Page about Benny Wenda.


It is now possible for members of the public to sign up to the West Papua declaration as set out on the IPWP website.


International Parliamentarians for West Papua now has a website.


The West Papua News website I linked to in several entries on this page (the last being in 2005) seems to have dissapeared. Here is an alternative site for West Papua News and Information.


Mariane Klute of Watch Indonesia! has responded to an article by Lee Jones called "Is West Papua being Eco-Colonised?"


Check out the West Papua Information Kit - I was going to add it to the dmoz category Society/Ethnicity/Indiginous_People/Issues_and_Concerns but it is already in Regional/Oceania/Australia/Society_and_Culture/Activism and sites are generally supposed to be listed in only one category. It does seem like the former might be more appropriate but I am not an editor of the latter, and someone clearly thought it belonged there.


A few days ago in the House of Lords, Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked whether the UK has a responsibility to raise the case of West Papua in the UN Security Council. There were nine speeches and four comments - here is the transcript.


You might like to look at the Wikipedia entry for West Papua and perhaps improve it if you have anything to add.


Carlo Ottaviano Casana has captured some amazing images in West Papua.


Artists from around the world have donated tracks to a new compilation album called "Merdeka", which is available from Dancing Turtle Records. All proceeds are going to the Free West Papua campaign.

Yesterday in the House of Lords, at 8.27 pm, Lord Harries of Pentregarth rose to ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they are making to further the independence of West Papua.


A Channel 4 journalist has gained exclusive access to the island of West Papua, despite a ban by the government on journalists freely accessing the territory.


Tomorrow night at Jamm in Brixton there will be another Free West Papua benefit gig which will be streamed live on the Internet.


Benny Wendy was invited to speak at the Fifth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN in New York but his visa application was not granted in time. However, the statement was read out on his behalf.


The benefit gig at Jamm went very well. The fPcN server was out of action at the time because it had been hacked but apparently it didn't affect the live streaming because that was done through a different system.

Greenpeace have more than one ship now, and while the Esperanza has been tackling illegal fishing off the coast of Guinea, the Rainbow Warrior has been on "Forest Crime Patrol" in Indonesia. Ginger has just posted an interesting report from West Papua.


Tomorrow night's Free West Papua benefit event in Brixton is to be streamed live on the web.


A bishop in Papua New Guinea has revealed that terrorists are entering West Papua with the consent of the Indonesian army.


On Friday April 7th I will be helping out at an evening of world music and performance in aid of the Free West Papua Campaign. I have never worked with them before, having previously been involved with West Papuan issues through fPcN.


Violence flared today in Jayapura as policed used rubber bullets, teargas and armored vehicles to disperse a group of students protesting against Freeport McMoRan.


Twenty-seven leaders representing different Factions of the West Papuan Independence Movement have agreed in their meeting held in Yambi, Papua New Guinea on the formation of a national unity and reconciliation body, the West Papuan National Coalition for Liberation. The meeting was held between 28 November and 1st December 2005 and was attended by leaders from 18 resistance organisations including the TPN, the Military Arm of the OPM.


Indonesia has welcomed a US decision to restore military ties between the two governments, but human rights groups have expressed concerns.


There is a West Papua UN Review petition at which has so far attracted only 65 signatures. I think this is because it was only set up recently - so take a look and consider signing it - I have just done so myself.


The Free West Papua campaign are holding a weekend of events in Oxford on 2005-09-03/04. This will include performances by Mark Thomas, Andy Zaltman and John Oliver, a film screening and pane discussion featuring George Monbiot and Benny Wenda, and a Papuan pig and potato feast.


A pilot with the Indonesian national airline Garuda has gone on trial over the murder of a human rights activist.


Villages and houses of villagers, livestock and crops (gardens) in Nggoyage Village of Wunin District, Tolikara Regency were apparently looted and burned down recently by the TNI-Police forces Indonesia from Yonif 310 and Mobile Brigade as well as Special Forces (Kopassus) troops.


A new Australian report has warned that over the border, the other half of Papua (Papua New Guinea) is heading towards economic and social collapse. This has been disputed by the PNG Government.


There was extensive Sydney IMC coverage of the violence that flared in the capital of West Papua as Indonesian security forces moved to break up a flag-raising ceremony by independence supporters.


There have been reports that sometime last week, up to 15,000 West Papuan villagers were driven from their homes and herded into the mountains like cattle by Indonesian soldiers firing machine guns at them from helicopter gunships. Today at 16:00 there will be a candle-lit silent vigil outside the Indonesian Embassy in London.


The RFK Center for Human Rights Indonesia Support Group has been publishing reports about West Papua but they are not on the RFK website. In fact the site seems to be seriously out of date (the most recent press release is dated 2001-03-07) - don't they have anyone maintaining it?


According to this National Security Archive article, recently released documents show how the United States helped Indonesia take over West Papua.


Sidney Jones, an American analyst from the International Crisis Group, has been issued with an expulsion order by the Indonesian government. As director of the ICG in Indonesia, Ms Jones is regarded as an expert on the region's militant groups. She said that the expulsion order may have been prompted by her recent criticism of the way army and intelligence agencies have been handling the situations in Aceh and Papua.


Down to Earth is the website of the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia.


There is a new website just come online which aims to provide a central point of reference for the West Papuan freedom struggle. Check out for background information and links to other sites.


There will be a Free West Papua Film & Discussion on 2004-02-23 at Goldsmiths College.


Charles Foster, a barrister at 6 Pump Court, Temple, has been taking a keen interest in the plight of the West Papuan People. He wrote an article titled "Tribesmen's blood spilt for want of a good law" which appeared this week in the Times law section and was also posted at West Papua News - here is an extract:

West Papua highlights the impotence of international lawyers. Last year I sat in the Temple sifting through documents about the imprisonment, on transparently trumped up charges, of Benny Wenda, a West Papuan leader. He had been beaten, tortured and threatened with death. I was asked to advise. The answer was that the law could do nothing. Indonesia has signed up to none of the relevant international treaties, and even if it had there was unlikely to be any chance of redress. Diplomacy was pointless too: even if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office could be persuaded to make itself unpopular, Indonesia's contempt for diplomatic overtures was notorious. I could write a letter to a tired official in Jakarta, who would file it in the bin.

Benny managed to escape though, and I met him when he arrived in the UK about a year ago. He is one of the lucky ones.


I have been interested in and increasingly involved with this issue since meeting one of the key members of an organisation called "Friends of Peoples Close to Nature". If you are are in the London area and want to find out more about West Papua there is a great opportunity to do so at a benefit gig on Tuesday April 15th in Brixton. A new film "Papua Merdeka!" will be shown and DJs Matt Black and Mixmaster Morris will be on the decks. Venue is George 4th on Brixton Hill, doors open 8pm to 1am, entrance 5 quid (3 quid concessions). In fact, even if you are not in London you can be a part of the event by hooking in to a live stream on the web - check out the excellent FPCN website for details. Ian Gregory 2010