A very important new documentary has come out which shows the 2021 attack on Kiwirok, which killed over 300 West Papuans and forcibly displaced around 2000 of my people into the bush. These courageous filmmakers, Kristo Langker and friendlyjordies, have shown how bombs made in Serbia, France, and China were used to massacre my people. What happened in Kiwirok is happening across West Papua. We are murdered, tortured, and raped, and then our land is stolen for resource extraction and corporate profit when we flee. 

My heart was crying as I watched this documentary, as I was reminded of the Indonesian attack on my village in 1977. My early life was like the Kiwirok children shown in the film: my village was bombed, my family killed and brutalised, and we were forced to live in the bush for five years. The difference is that in 1977 no one was there with a camera to interview me – no one knows what happened to my mum, my aunt, my grandfather. But now we have video proof, and no one can deny the evidence of their own eyes. 

Aside from the number of Kiwirok people killed by Indonesian troops – ranging between 21 and 72 – witnesses from the village say that hundreds have died of starvation while living in the bush, where they lack food, water, and adequate medical supplies. Villagers attempting to return to Kiwirok have been attacked by Indonesian soldiers – shot at close range, with sniper rifles, and tortured. The names of Kiwirok residents are now added to the 60,000 – 100,000 who have been forcibly displaced by Indonesian militarisation since 2018. The international community knows this is a grave humanitarian crisis, and yet still refuses to act. Why? 

I want to alert all our diplomatic groups, the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP), the International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP), and all West Papuan solidarity activists around the world. You must ask your governments to address this, to stop selling arms to Indonesia.

I also want to thank Kristo Langker and friendlyjordies for making this important documentary, and to Matthew Jamieson for producing the report on the attack. You have borne witness to the hidden genocide of my people. When we are finally independent, your names will be written in our history.  

The documentary can be watched here, and the report downloaded here

Benny Wenda

Victims of the Kiwirok attacks

A still from the documentary