West Papua is a country in waiting, it is the western half of the island of New Guinea. For 50 years the West Papuan people have been under oppression by a brutal Indonesian militant occupation, and subject to a slow genocide.
Before the Indonesian invasion of 1963 the West Papuan people were 98% of the population, today they are only 48%, a reported 500,000 West Papuans have been killed or disappeared. Their minerals, rain forests and resources have been ruthlessly exploited, the main beneficiaries being Indonesia, USA and Australia.
The Act Of "Free" Choice: Was the 1969 U.N monitored referendum which was set in place to allow West Papuans to decide if they wanted to become an independent nation state. 1024 West Papuans were chosen and forced to vote under duress in favour of remaining under Indonesian rule. West Papuans refer to the referendum as the Act Of No Choice and are calling for a renewed referendum where all adult Papuans are allowed to vote.
Media Blockout: From the beginning of the Indonesian invasion into West Papua, international media have not been allowed in to document the situation on the ground. NGO's have also been denied access to the territory. Today media and NGO's continue to be blocked out of West Papua.
Mining & Resources: The Freeport Mine has displaced local indigenous populations since it's Indonesian approved operations started in 1967 (2 years before Indonesia had U.N sanctioned control of the region.) The environmental damage from the worlds largest gold and second largest copper mine include ongoing pollution of waterways, deforestation and The destruction of wildlife and habitat . The 3 main companies who own the Freeport Mine are Rio Tinto, (Australia) PT Free port Indonesia and Freeport-Mcmoran (America).
Flag Raising: West Papuans can face up to 15 years in jail for raising their
flag, The Morning Star.
Political Prisoners: elected President, Forkorus Yaboisembut, and Prime Minister, Edison Waromi, along with other members of the Federated West Papuan Congress and pro-independence activists are currently serving prison sentences in Jayapura, West Papua.
The Lombok Treaty: The Lombok Treaty was signed by Australia and Indonesia in November 2006. It was designed to restore relations after Australia issued forty-three West Papuans with asylum on 4 April 2006. An angry Indonesian president had withdrawn his Ambassador from
Canberra and claimed “the entire framework of relations between Indonesia and Australia has to be re-examined.” Article 2.3 of the treaty bans support, displays, activities, or any commitment to separasi (independence/self-determination).
Yale and Sydney University have published reports stating that over half a million West Papuans have been killed or disappeared since the Indonesian invasion. There continues to be a disproportionate military presence in West Papua. Indonesian military and police conduct frequent operations where they burn houses, intimidate villages and beat and kill civilians.
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