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Stop persecuting West Papua human rights defenders! Urgent appeal to support Veronica Koman

Chuffed.org - August 17, 2020

Ronny Kareni – We are West Papuans living in Australia, calling for our friends to support Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer. Many West Papuans admire her advocacy work on West Papua issues, including her defense of West Papuan clients charged with treason for peacefully demanding our right to self-determination.

The government of Indonesia has imposed a financial punishment upon Veronica Koman in a new attempt to pressure her into stopping her internationally recognised human rights advocacy work in West Papua. After fabricating criminal charges, putting her on the national police wanted list, seeking an interpol Red Notice, and threatening to cancel her passport, now the government is forcing her to refund the value of a scholarship awarded in 2016. The amount she is required to pay is IDR 773,876,918 (~AUD 72,500).

Add your voice to theirs

Amnesty International has condemned this latest sanction against Veronica Koman. Last year, United Nations experts spoke out to support Veronica, calling on the Indonesian authorities to drop charges against her and to protect her rights as a human rights defender. Australians recognised the importance of Veronica's advocacy by awarding her the 2019 Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award.

West Papuan indigenous leader Mama Yosepha Alomang (winner of the 2001 Goldman Environmental Prize and the 1999 Yap Thiam Hien Award on human rights) said, in support of Veronica:

"For 57 years Indonesia has taken from West Papua, consuming my body. You took my gold from the Nemangkawi (sacred mountain mined by Freeport) to send thousands of your children to school. I never asked you to return it. They study at the highest levels but they never defend my dignity, the people and environment of West Papua. They also never come to me to say thank you. Now I am telling you that Veronica is me. She is the young Yosepha. As a woman and mother of all West Papuan people I ask everyone to unify to help Veronica. The West Papuan nation has dignity. I have put Veronica into my 'noken', the West Papuan noken, to defend my dignity."

We will return the state scholarship!

We can't let Veronica pay the price for her human rights advocacy in West Papua. Your donation will be used to cover this financial punishment.

To make a donation visit: https://chuffed.org/pay/campaign/73712

Source: https://chuffed.org/project/veronica-koman