The people of West Papua have been resisting violent and oppressive Indonesian occupation for 55 years now. International political lobbying, global support, and mass demonstrations continue in cities and towns across West Papua and Indonesia. Since Indonesian rule, hundreds of men and women have been detained as political prisoners facing lengthy sentences (up to 20 years to life), simply for exercising their rights to demonstrate or express opposition. Even for raising the ‘Morning Star’ flag, or attending events promoting West Papuan nationalism. The West Papua Project at the University of Sydney conducted a review finding ‘slow motion Genocide’ is unfolding in West Papua.
The Greens National Conference in November 2017 passed a resolution asking Councillors, State and Federal MPs to fly the West Papuan flag, the Morning Star, on 1st December 2018, a day of solidarity for self-determination for West Papua’s people.
The Australian Greens Global Issues Group (GIG) is asking you for your assistance to bring attention to the on-going oppression of West Papuans by Indonesian police and military. The press is restricted and often harassed, intimidated and beaten, including Australian and other foreign journalists. Indigenous West Papuan women are particularly vulnerable to serious ill-treatment, harassment and intimidation from Indonesian security forces as a result of ‘crimes’ related to freedom of expression and assembly.
The Australian Government, alongside other foreign governments, make significant contributions to the Indonesian military and police in capacity, skills training and resourcing, including arms and direct financial support. There is very limited public information available on the size and scale of these efforts.
WHY WE SHOULD FLY THE FLAG:
Australia is party to all seven core international human rights treaties, supports the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons, and was appointed to the UN Human Rights Commission in 2017.
Australian support for the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) is provided through the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The Australian Government also supports the Indonesian military (TNI), through education, training, joint military exercises and the provision of defence equipment.
We have a duty to be a watchful neighbour when large scale extractive industries and industrial agribusiness are the main drivers and beneficiaries of the Indonesian occupation of West Papua. This includes a few large, international corporations, particularly the palm oil industry, and they are closely tied to Australian business.
COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIONS
GIG is asking you to join this flag flying action on 1st December in the following ways:
- If you have West Papuans living locally please support their calls and actions for self-determination.
- Ask your State Office to fly the flag inside and/or outside on 1st December
- If you can take a photo of yourself with the flag (or a digital copy) and post it to social media on or before 1st December. Please then share to:
#FreeWestPapua & #LetWestPapuaVote
Flags can be purchased online at various websites. Some are sold via for-profit websites. The Free West Papua website where profits support this movement is in the UK, so please allow plenty of time for delivery (https://www.freewestpapua.org/shop/west-papua-flag/).
If you are unable to purchase a flag in time for the Day of Action, a copy of The Morning Star Flag can be downloaded as a PDF
or as a JPG file
The May 2018 Australian Greens National Conference passed a resolution that stated that it:
- reaffirms our commitment to self-determination for West Papuan people;
- recognises the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) as the representative voice of the political aspirations of West Papuan People;
- supports West Papua being re-listed on the UN Decolonization list at the 2019 UN General Assembly;
- calls for the full disclosure of Australian aid used in West Papua which is given to the Indonesian police & military, including the Joint Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Special Detachment 88, and the TNI;
- calls on the Indonesian government to uphold the human rights of the West Papuan people, including the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression;
- calls for the free access of foreign Journalists to West Papua.
Thank you for considering taking this action on 1st December.
Greens Global Issues Working Group
To find out more visit the Free West Papua website (https://www.freewestpapua.org/)
Or contact Sean Bruce-Cullen (<email@example.com>), GWA’s GIG delegate