West Papua is a secret story, internationally hidden from outside view. In West Papua the Indonesian security forces have become an obstacle to justice, killing, jailing, torturing and beating ordinary Papuans. More than 102 West Papuans have been reported killed in the last five years, six of whom are children. Thousands of peaceful Papuans have been arrested and hundreds beaten and tortured. The Australian government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for Justice and the Department of Defence, is funding the Indonesian security forces. Further, the Australian Federal Police provide funding, educational support and training to the Indonesian National Police force, including the notorious police death squads Brimob and D88. There is no independent monitoring or evaluation of our aid effectiveness to Indonesia, or transparency around where the Australian funds to the Indonesian police and military go.
This is millions of taxpayers' money, and the government doesn't want you to talk about it.
When Australia signed onto the Lombok Treaty (2006) with the Indonesian government, it essentially became a gag order. But we do have a choice. Australia either keeps quiet about the issue of West Papua, or we speak out.
The Make West Papua Safe (MWPS) strategy has been designed based on the 'Theory of Change' model. MWPS aims to stop, or at least review, the Australian government support to the Indonesian police and military including Brimob and D88 police units, and Kopassus, the special forces military unit. The objective of the campaign is to secure bi-partisan commitment to an independent audit of the effectiveness and human rights risks associated with all Australian government funded programs involving the Indonesian police and military.
MWPS aims to
1. Build the Australian solidarity movement
2. Build the solidarity movement's capacity for engaging in campaigns of strategic nonviolence
3. Ending the Australian governments support for D88, Brimob and Kopassus.
This is not just about human rights. It is about preserving life and human dignity.
The least Australia can do, is stop supporting the worst of Indonesia's human rights abusers.
A core part of this campaign's success requires activating more volunteers and supporters here in Australia. The more numbers we have actively working towards a safe West Papua, will result in greater pressure on the Australian government and will strengthen our solidarity movement. There are many ways for people to be involved. For those interested, non-violent direct action training will be provided to volunteers and supporters for on the ground, activist work.
Will you join us?