“The world condemns Indonesia for the killings of 5 foreign citizens and 1 Indonesian citizen; what about the killings of over half a million West Papuans?”
Recently the world has learned of the true brutality of the Indonesian government, with the execution of 6 people from the Netherlands, Nigeria, Malawi, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia. I am very sad to hear this news and give my condolences to the families of all those killed. Both Brazil and the Netherlands (who formerly colonised West Papua) have withdrawn their ambassadors from Indonesia after their citizens were given the death penalty for drug charges this week.
This has raised a lot of international attention about the true savagery of the Indonesian state, and of the new Indonesian president and his killing people for drug charges, even in the 21st century. I fully understand the pain and anger of people around the world, including foreign governments over the killings and that is why I am appealing them to look at what the Indonesian government is doing to my people also. All we are doing is struggling for our self-determination and freedom.
Almost exactly 1 month ago, in Paniai, West Papua, the Indonesian military shot dead 5 innocent West Papuan children and another innocent West Papuan man, just for peacefully protesting against violence against children. Although the grief and pain experienced by the families of those 6 executed Papuans was just as strong as the families of the 6 executed foreigners killed by the Indonesian government this month, the killings in Paniai received almost no condemnation from foreign governments and only small “expressions of concern” from some instead.
The truth is that not only were 6 Papuans killed last month but over the last 52 years, over half a million of my people have been killed by the Indonesian authorities. That makes an average of about 10,000 Papuans killed every year as a result of the Indonesian government’s occupation of our country.
“We too are executed by Indonesia, only for calling for the freedom of our nation.”
I feel that it is right that the Brazilian and Dutch governments have withdrawn their ambassadors from Indonesia and I ask them, as well as other foreign governments to please also remember Indonesia’s ongoing persecution, killings and executions of my people, the majority of whom have been killed without any foreign government even knowing their names. We West Papuans regard the Netherlands in particular as our father nation and not so long ago, we were all Dutch citizens whose lives were just as valued as every other Dutch citizen. We are pleading to our Dutch father once again to please look at not only one of his children being killed by Indonesia but also at his many Papuan children who also continue to be killed by Indonesia. This case is also especially relevant to the Netherlands because the Dutch person who was executed, Mr Ang Kiem Soe was born in West Papua and if West Papua were already free, he could have been a West Papuan himself.
If the Dutch government can fully condemn the Indonesian government for the killing of a person born in West Papua, can they not condemn the Indonesian government for the killing of 500,000 people born in West Papua?
If it is right that foreign governments are beginning to withdraw their ambassadors from Indonesia due to killings, is it not right that they also do the same due to the killings of over half a million West Papuans?
The families of six people executed this month are grieving for their loved ones killed by the Indonesian government and the families of the 6 Papuan people, including 5 children, are also grieving for their loved ones killed by the Indonesian government.
Where are the human rights in what Indonesia is doing?
Let us come together in condemning the Indonesian government and say together that they may not kill our people anymore.
Please look to my people’s suffering against the brutality of the Indonesian government.
We must not let Indonesia get away with murdering people any longer.
Founder of the Free West Papua Campaign
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee