Today we raise the West Papua Morning Flag, the Morning Star. From our partner the Pacific Conference of Churches:
Call For Boycott of Indonesian Products and Programmes until UN Human Rights Team and International Media allowed into Papua and Cessation of Military Brutality on Papuan People
The Pacific Conference of Churches today launches a call for a boycott of all Indonesian products and programmes by the Indonesian Government until Indonesia facilitates a visit by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to investigate reported human rights abuses – including torture, extrajudicial killings, and systemic police and military violence.
The call for boycott was endorsed by the PCC Executive Committee last month, in response to information of a similar call at the Methodist Church in Fiji’s Annual Conference in August this year.
“The call for a boycott comes in response to the lack of political will by the Indonesian Government to honour their commitment to this visit which was made 4 years ago,” said PCC General Secretary, Rev. James Bhagwan.
“Our Pacific Church Leaders are deeply concerned that urging by our Pacific Island states through the Pacific Islands Forum; has been ignored. We are also concerned that Indonesia is using “cheque-book diplomacy to silence some Pacific states on this issue.”
“Our only option in the face of this to apply our own financial pressure to this cause. We know that the Pacific is a market for Indonesian products, and we hope that this mobilisation of “consumers” will show that Pacific people stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of Tanah Papua.”
The Pacific Conference of Churches is also calling on Pacific people, organisations and governments to not participate in programmes, activities and projects by the Indonesian government until it facilitates the visit of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, accompanied by International Media into the now five (5) provinces in Papua.
“Apart from the ongoing reports of human rights abuses, we are particularly to monitor the increasing number of Internally Displaced Persons in the Nduga region and the increasing militarisation in Tanah Papua.”
The Pacific Conference of Churches has four member churches in Papua: Gereja Injili Di Indonesia (Evangelical Church of Indonesia), Gereja Kristen Injili di Tannah Papua (Evangelical Church in the Land of Papua), Gereja Kemah Injil (KINGMI) Papua (Gospel Tabernacle Church), and the Persekutuan Gereja-Gereja Baptis Papua (Fellowship of Baptist Churches in Papua). These churches also make up the West Papua Council of Churches, which is recognised by the PCC and has consistently called for:
• The Indonesian Government to immediately open itself to negotiations with ULMWP as it did with GAM in ACEH making them a negotiating Partner with mediation provided by a third party;
• Military operations, including troop deployment and the development of military infrastructure in Papua to stop.
• That the Indonesian government seriously address the four root causes of the problems found by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences: 1. Distortion of Papuan Political History, 2. Human Rights Violations of Papuans, 3. Discrimination and marginalization of Papuans and 4. Failure of Development in the Land of Papua.
This year’s 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held in Karlsruhe, Germany, issued a Minute on West Papua, expressing grave concern over the situation in West Papua.
“The Indigenous Papuan people – the vast majority of whom are Christians – continue to suffer serious and systemic violations of their physical security and human rights, including arbitrary arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings as well as sexual and gender-based violence, while independent journalists, international humanitarian organizations and human rights monitors are allowed restricted or no access to the territory,” reads the minute. “In addition, the consequences of deforestation and environmental degradation are threatening Papuan traditional livelihoods and culture.”
Meanwhile, both Indonesian and international corporate interests exploit the resources of the territory, notes the minute.
“Recently, the violence and violation of rights has been compounded by new political arrangements in the territory which have been imposed on the people of Papua against their will,” reads the minute. “The systemic marginalization of and discrimination against the Papuan people in their own land is accelerating and intensifying.”
The minute further notes that the increasing deforestation of the rainforests of Papua is accelerating the global trajectory towards climate catastrophe. “Protection of the rainforest and of the marine ecosystems of Papua – with the vast biodiversity they host – is an urgent necessity,” reads the minute.
The minute concludes as the WCC urges “all WCC member churches and partners to increase their awareness, accompaniment and support for the people and churches of Tanah Papua in the midst of this longstanding and worsening crisis.”
December 1, 2022