[Bahasa translation below]
We are winning the struggle with Indonesia. Politically, legally, morally, our arguments have prevailed; 18 countries in the region recently came out for West Papua during the Pacific Islands Forum.
Indonesia has only one tactic left: repression. Six thousand new Indonesian occupation troops have been deployed in West Papua since the uprising began last month, and have been carrying out arrests, raids and murders. We know that the Indonesian military is not there to protect the people of West Papua, but to bring violence and fear to our streets.
People in West Papua are scared. We carry the trauma of Indonesian military operations such as the 1963 Trikora invasion, the 1977-78 Highland operations described by the Asian Human Rights Commission as a ‘neglected genocide’, and the ongoing military operations in Nduga which have displaced 35,000 people. On August 28, six people were shot dead by the Indonesian military in Deiyai whilst peacefully protesting.
Dozens of peaceful activists have already been arrested. Just yesterday, Buchtar Tabuni, Vice-Chair of the ULMWP’s Legislative Council, was arrested. Indonesian police fired 60 times at Buchtar’s house in Kamwolker, Abepura, before arresting him. These are peaceful activists, calling for a democratic referendum carried out through an international mechanism.
I, Chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, demand that Indonesia immediately release all political prisoners, including recently arrested Buchtar Tabuni and Bazoka Logo.
Due to Indonesia’s ongoing block on the internet, we cannot confirm what is happening across much of West Papua now. The Indonesia state is scared of those who advocate and organise, so it responds with violence, harassment and intimidation.
When we non-violently march on the street calling for a referendum, Indonesian arrests and kills us. When we invite international media to hear our stories, Indonesia bans them from entering. When we try to tell the world what is happening through social media, Indonesia cuts off the internet. Under Indonesian occupation, West Papua is like the biggest prison in the world.
The Indonesian government does not want to deal with the real issue: our right to self-determination, our demand for a democratic referendum. Instead, war criminals like Wiranto attempt to deflect the issue onto a ‘conspiracy’ by the ULMWP and KNPB. We do not carry out violence: we work through international fora like the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and UN. Indonesia is an associate member of the MSG, and a ‘dialogue partner’ in the PIF. We are already sitting around the table with Indonesia in international fora – why then does Indonesia try to stigmatise us as ‘criminals’ and ‘separatists’?
Indonesia must respect us as an equal partner and allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in so the world can know what is happening. I urge the world to act now and demand that Indonesia withdraw the 6,000 new security personnel and immediately release all political prisoners.
All across Indonesia, from Jakarta to Sulawesi, 835 Papuan students are returning in an exodus to West Papua due to the threats they face, from racist taunts to snakes thrown through their windows. They are ready to vote in an independence referendum. The time for Indonesia to allow us to determine our own destiny has come.
United Liberation Movement for West Papua
Kita dalam proses memenangkan perjuangan kita melawan Indonesia. Secara politis, legal dan moral, argumentasi kita berhasil; 18 negara di kawasan Pasifik mengumumkan dukungan mereka untuk Papua Barat di Pacific Islands Forum.