Jubi: 98 ORGANISASI HAM INTERNASIONAL MINTA MSG TERIMA
KEANGGOTAAN PAPUA BARAT and ABC: Praise for MSG leadership
on West Papua
Paul Barber: +44 (0)7747 301739 / +44 (0)1420 80153
Rights groups call on
MSG to allow West Papuans to claim their Melanesian identity
15 October 2013 – Ninety-eight international
and Pacific non-governmental organisations, academics, politicians and
individuals have written to the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG),
welcoming their leadership on the West Papua issue and adding their wholehearted
support for the application of West Papua to join the MSG.
The letter was written in solidarity with the thousands of West Papuans who
have demonstrated over the last year calling for support from their
Melanesian neighbours to acknowledge their suffering.
The group, including organisations from
Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, India and the USA
highlighted the threat to the survival of the indigenous Melanesians of West
Papua, whose population is rapidly declining, and the ongoing human rights
abuses in the disputed territory, including the denial of the right to
self-determination. [The West Papua Advocacy Team and East Timor and Indonesia
Action Network (ETAN) are both signers.]
The letter was written in solidarity with
the thousands of West Papuans who have demonstrated over the last year calling
for support from their Melanesian neighbours to acknowledge their suffering and
have their Melanesian identity recognised through being granted membership of
the MSG. Many of these peaceful demonstrations have been met with beatings and
West Papua borders the independent state
of Papua New Guinea and is geographically and culturally part of Melanesia.
Indonesia entered the territory in the 1960s and there followed over a decade of
indiscriminate attacks on civilians using aerial bombardment, strafing, and
mortar and artillery fire from air, land and sea. These indiscriminate attacks
formed the context for the ‘Act of Free Choice,’ which is widely agreed to have
been fraudulent. The problematic plebiscite afforded a vote to only around 1% of
the Papuan population at the time, while Indonesian troops intimidated those
voters and brutally suppressed the protesting indigenous population. As a
result, Indonesia consolidated its control of West Papua.
Human rights abuses continue to this day.
During the last year there have been hundreds of political arrests, dozens of
reports of torture of indigenous people, and killings by Indonesian security
forces, including the shooting of an 11-year-old West Papua girl.
The letter also appreciated the critical
role the Melanesian Spearhead Group could play in bringing greater peace to this
part of the region, noting that this potential cannot be realised until West
Papuans are admitted to the Melanesian Spearhead Group.
ETAN Makes a Difference! Read How.
98 ORGANISASI HAM INTERNASIONAL MINTA MSG TERIMA KEANGGOTAAN PAPUA BARAT
Victor Mambor on October 15, 2013
15/10 (Jubi) – 98 organisasi non-pemerintah internasional, akademisi, politisi
dan individu dari Pasifik meminta kepada para pemimpin Melanesia Spearhead Group
(MSG), agar memberikan dukungan penuh terhadap aplikasi Barat Papua yang telah
diajukan untuk menjadi anggota MSG .
Melalui siaran pers yang dikirimkan ke redaksi Jubi, Selasa (15/10), kelompok
organisasi dari Fiji, Selandia Baru, Australia, Thailand, Filipina, India dan
Amerika Serikat ini menyoroti ancaman bagi kelangsungan hidup penduduk asli
Melanesia di Papua Barat, yang populasinya menurun drastis. Juga pelanggaran hak
asasi manusia yang sedang berlangsung di Papua Barat, termasuk penolakan
terhadap hak untuk menentukan nasib sendiri.
Surat ini ditulis melalui aksi solidaritas bersama ribuan orang Papua Barat yang
selama bertahun-tahun telah meminta dukungan dari tetangga Melanesia mereka
untuk mengakui penderitaan yang mereka alami. Saudara-saudara Melanesia diminta
meemberikan pengakuan identitas Melanesia rakyat Papua Barat melalui keanggotaan
Organisasi-organisasi ini menyinggung pelanggaran HAM yang masih terjadi hingga
saat ini. Tahun lalu ada ratusan penangkapan terhadap orang Papua, ratusan
tahanan politik, puluhan laporan penyiksaan masyarakat adat, dan pembunuhan oleh
pasukan keamanan Indonesia, termasuk penembakan seorang anak yang berusia 11
Surat tersebut juga menghargai peran MSG yang diharapkan dapat memainkan peran
penting dalam membawa perdamaian ke bagian yang lebih besar di wilayah
Melanesia. Potensi ini diharapkan dapat direalisasikan sampai Papua Barat
diterima dalam MSG. (Jubi/Victor Mambor)
Praise for MSG leadership on West Papua
Updated 16 October 2013, 13:21 AEST
Organisations and politicians from the US, Asia and the Pacific have written
to leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, calling for sustained efforts to
give Papuans a voice and welcoming MSG leadership on the issue.
The MSG, currently under the chairmanship of New Caledonia, is considering a
Papuan application to join the Group.
Paul Barber, coordinator of the UK-based organisation TAPOL, a human rights body
focussing on Indonesia, says 98 international organisations and NGOs have
written to the MSG.
Presenter: Sen Lam
Speaker: Paul Barber, coordinator, TAPOL.
BARBER: This is a letter which has been written by 98 international
organisations, written to the leaders of the Melanesian Spearhead Group,
supporting West Papua's formal application for membership of the group, but also
in solidarity with the thousands of West Papuans who've demonstrated over the
past year, calling support from their Melanesian neighbours to acknowledge their
suffering and to have their Melanesian identity recognised through being granted
membership of the group. This is a range of signatories from around the world,
including Pacific island countries, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, regional
signatories in Thailand and the Philippines, as well as the USA and the UK.
LAM: This group has applauded the MSG's efforts for showing leadership on the
rights of Papuans, but is the message being heard in Indonesia - particularly,
the TNI, the Indonesian military, which of course has a heavy presence in the
BARBER: Yes, well, we hope so, and you're right to say that the MSG has taken
leadership on this issue, and we particularly welcome the fact that Vanuatu for
example, has spoken out about human rights violations in West Papua at the UN
General Assembly and called for the UN to appoint a special representative to
investigate. We hope that this will lead to increased attention to the human
rights situation in West Papua, and perhaps even more accountability of the TNI.
LAM: The letter, I understand also made mention of the Melanesian population in
Papua province itself, that it seems to be dwindling - what evidence is there to
BARBER: Well, it is a fact that the Papuan population of West Papua is becoming
increasingly marginalised, as a result of a process of migration, which is
happening from other parts of Indonesia. And now, the population, the indigenous
population of Papua is under 50 percent.
LAM: Are there any signs that the Melanesian Spearhead Group is moving on the
issue of Papuans joining the grouping?
BARBER: Well, certainly the application for membership is under consideration.
Indonesia has invited the MSG foreign ministers to West Papua for a visit and of
course, they must honour that commitment and ensure that the ministers are
allowed and able to visit the province, and to have freedom of movement, when
they go there.
LAM: What issues would you like the MSG leaders to raise with the Indonesian
authorities, when they do visit Papua province?
BARBER: The human rights issues, which I've mentioned, including freedom of
expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, but I would also hope that the
Melanesian Spearhead Group can also become a forum, in which there can be some
kind of dialogue, to take place between the West Papuans and Indonesia, which
would help to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the territory.
LAM: And what's your intelligence telling you about the situation in Papua,
where human rights is concerned?
BARBER: Well, the situation is not good at the present time. There're constant
violations of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Earlier
this year, in May, the UN Human Rights Commission expressed concern over a
crackdown on mass demonstrations in the provinces and called for the Indonesian
government to allow for peaceful protests and hold those accountable for
violence. So the situation is not good, we're monitoring quite closely the
situation of political prisoners in the territory, those who're in detention, in
violation of their rights to freedom of expression, and currently, there're over
53 political prisoners in Papuan jails, so the situation is not good at the
present time, no.