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Groups respond to mystery list of Papua supporters

Joint Statement - July 31, 2012

A list is currently circulating on the internet which purports to list international supporters of the OPM (Organisasi Papua Merdek) in West Papua. (See for example, http://politik.kompasiana.com/2012/07/08/daftar-organisasi-pendukung-gerakan-papua-merdeka-di-luar-negeri/.) This list includes our organizations among others. We speak here only for our own groups and not necessarily for any others listed.

We do not know who created the list or when. It is full of typos and other errors, including groups that no long exist and may never have existed. The list includes the original name of one of us; ETAN changed its name in 2005.

Lists like these (see here for another example: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/peace_conflict/docs/Anatomy_for_print.pdf) seek to blame others for problems created by the Indonesian government's and security forces' own policies and actions. We saw this in East Timor, where instead of acknowledging the depth of the local opposition to its occupation, Indonesian officials insisted resistance came from a handful of East Timorese, emboldened by international supporters. Indonesia must stop blaming outsiders and seeing enemies everywhere. It must take responsibility for its failures in West Papua. It is these failures which our organizations seek to address.

The implication of the list is that expressing concern about West Papua is interfering in matters internal to Indonesia. We strongly reject that.

First, much of our advocacy is in response to pleas for help from within West Papua.

Second, we are urging that Indonesia adhere to its international responsibilities by following the UN Charter and human rights international conventions and treaties, many of which Indonesia has signed or ratified.

Moreover, much of our advocacy is focused on our own countries, addressing the roles of our own governments and the international institutions to which they belong, as well as the impact of multinational corporations active in the territory. We work to change our own governments' policies so they support human rights and justice. We seek to limit our governments' support for Indonesia's security forces which regularly violate the rights of West Papuans. By doing so, our governments can contribute to a lessening of violence and peaceful solutions to West Papua's problems.

  • East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), USA
  • Tapol, the Indonesian Human Right Campaign, UK
  • Australia West Papua Association (Sydney), Australia
  • Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Peace Movement Aotearoa, New Zealand
  • Medical Association for Prevention of War (NSW), Australia
  • Australia West Papua Association, South Australia
  • Foundation Pro Papua, The Netherlands
  • Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand
  • Swedish Association For Free Papua
  • Down to Earth
  • Survival International
  • West Papuan Women Association in the Netherlands (Vereniging van Papua Vrouwen in Nederland)
  • West Papua Courier, The Netherlands