West Papua Report May 2014

News and Press Release
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This is the 121st in a series of monthly reports that focus on developments affecting Papuans. This series is produced by the non-profit West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) drawing on media accounts, other NGO assessments, and analysis and reporting from sources within West Papua. This report is co-published by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN). Back issues are posted online at Questions regarding this report can be addressed to Edmund McWilliams at If you wish to receive the report directly via e-mail, send a note to Link to this issue:

The Report leads with "Perspective," an analysis piece; followed by "Update," a summary of some developments during the covered period; and then "Chronicle" which includes analyses, statements, new resources, appeals and action alerts related to West Papua. Anyone interested in contributing a Perspective or responding to one should write to The opinions expressed in Perspectives are the author's and not necessarily those of WPAT or ETAN. For additional news on West Papua see the reg.westpapua listserv archive or on Twitter.


This edition's PERSPECTIVE by Dr. Budi Hernawan examines Vanuatu's efforts to place West Papua on the international human rights agenda. In UPDATE, Indonesia was questioned by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Indonesian military want to purchase additional U.S. assault helicopters. New violence creates tension on the PNG border near Vanimo; more arrests and torture of peaceful Papuan student protesters; the anniversary of transfer of West Papua to UN control in 1963; the establishment of a new Free West Papua office in Perth, and the sentencing of the former Merauke District chief for graft.

In CHRONICLE: A photo project draws attention to West Papuans struggle for respect of their political and other human rights. David Robie questions why South Pacific nations have not supported Vanuatu's efforts to draw international attention to Indonesia's human rights violations in West Papua. Craig Harris highlights Papuans criticism of mining giant Freeport McMoRan at a U.S. environmental conference. Oil palm plantations in West Papua and elsewhere face growing scrutiny.