Papuans Behind Bars January 2014

At the end of January 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails.

The visiting delegation of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) leaders was a highly politically charged event, and demonstrations were predictable. However, both the seniority of the civil society leaders heading the demonstrations and the repressive police response, in defiance of the media spotlight, highlighted just how high the stakes were on all sides.

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ETAN's West Papua Report February 2014

ETAN's February 2014 edition of PERSPECTIVE examines the decision of the Melanesian states, minus Vanuatu, to endorse Jakarta's control of West Papua and to forego criticism of its repression there. In UPDATE the report describes continued " sweeping operations" in the Puncak Jaya region, Papuan criticism of the Melanesian Spearhead Group's visit to Indonesia, Jakarta's linking of"Special Autonomy Plus" to repression, and testimony about human rights in West Papua before the European Parliament.

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Military attack forces villagers to flee

According to a report by the office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Protestant Christian Church in the Land of Papua (GKI-TP), Indonesian security forces, consisting of members of the police and the military, conducted a raid with excessive use of force against civilians in the Papuan village of Sasawa, Yapen island, West Papua province, on Saturday, February 1st 2014. One man, Yosua Arumpayai, was shot dead during the incident.

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What’s next for Papua after the MSG diplomacy?

The 2013 Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) summit undoubtedly marked a historic moment on the long journey of Papua's international diplomacy. During the top diplomatic gathering of the Melanesian countries, the Papuan representatives were invited for the first time.

While this political decision constitutes a breakthrough for the political impasse in Jakarta, the decision is still pending a follow-up visit by a foreign ministerial mission to Jakarta and Jayapura. The visit, however, is subject to the Indonesian government's approval, not the MSG's (The Jakarta Post, Oct. 26, 2013).

Papuan international diplomacy is not novel. If we look back to the second Papua Congress in 2000, it is one of the mandates that some 500 Papuan representatives entrusted to the Papuan Presidium Council (PDP).

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EU Parliament Hearing on Human Rights Abuses in West Papua

The human rights subcommittee of the EU parliament in Brussels held a hearing on human rights abuses in West Papua, Indonesia on Thursday, January 23, 2014.

During the one hour meeting, the chair of the hearing gave an overview of human rights reports they had received in preparation for the meeting. A large group of national and international human rights NGOs had sent letters to the subcommittee’s members.

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Why is West Papua closed to foreign journalists?

Yoman portrait 200x200Earlier this year I had a meeting with a friend who is a foreign journalist in Jakarta. During our conversation which lasted almost an hour, I asked him. 'When are you planning to visit Papua to get information directly from there?' My friend said: 'We are not permitted by the Indonesian government to visit Papua. I have made several requests to visit Papua but the government has turned down all my requests.'

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