Indonesia are a criminal and a genocidal murderer in West Papua.

Even while the eyes of the world are on Indonesia, as they continue preparing for their Presidential election on February 14th, their military continues its reign of terror in rural West Papua.

The latest tragedy they have inflicted on my people occurred in the Puncak regency. Military raids on the 3rd and 4th of February devastated a number of highland villages. Numerous houses were burnt to the ground, villagers were tortured, and at least one Papuan died from his wounds – though Indonesian control of information makes it difficult to know whether others were also killed. As always, the military claimed the victims were TPNPB fighters – a grotesque lie, immediately denied by the villagers and their relatives.

We have complete sympathy with what is happening in Gaza. But Indonesian hypocrisy on Palestine cannot be ignored. They are bringing a legal case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about Israel’s occupation of Palestine while intensifying their own brutal and bloody military occupation of West Papua. They are supporting South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ while conducting their own genocide in West Papua. They are crying about Palestinians’ right to self-determination while continuing to deny West Papuans that same right.

Over 500,000 West Papuans have been killed since the occupation began in 1963. In the last six years, over 100,000 Papuans have likely been displaced, made refugees in their own land as a result of Indonesian military operations. Genocide, ecocide, and ethnic cleansing – West Papuans are victims of all three. The world must pay attention to our plight.

Benny Wenda