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Democracy in darkness inside West Papua; Appeal for Solidarity from African family for West Papua freedom

By Gpan West Papua

The Indonesian Government’s Decision to extend Law Number 21 of 2001 without consulting Papuans pursuant to Article 77 has violated their basic human rights under Article 19 & 21 (1) of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNUDHR) and their Civil and Political Rights which is a clear abuse of democratic process.

West Papuans Protesting against racism inside Indonesia, September 2019

CHAPTER XXIV (Article 77) Law Number 21 of 2001; “Proposed changes to this law can be submitted by the people of Papua Province through the MRP and DPRP to the DPR or the Government in accordance with statutory regulations.”  

The recent announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Papua Special Committee (Pansus) to extend[1] the Special Autonomy package for Papua and West Papua without consulting the Papuans got most people in Papua off guard because they were busy preparing their pros and cons about the Special Autonomy thinking that they would be consulted for their opinions pursuant to Article 77 of the Special Autonomy Law. The last 20 years since 2001 and its possible projection in the future if the autonomy package is to be extended for another 20 years is being questioned by many stakeholders in Papua and West Papua who are beneficiaries of the Special Autonomy package. The questionable steps taken by the Central government[2] in Jakarta since January[3] 2020 has been to make important decisions about extending the autonomy package without consulting the people of Papua as stated in the Article 77 of the Autonomy Law.

 The very act of ‘exclusion’ committed by the Central government violated the basic human rights of the Papuan people which the government should be held accountable for the violation of Article 77 breaking the trust between the people of Papua and the government of Indonesia. It is a clear obstruction of democratic process in Indonesia that put the whole Indonesian democratic system in disrepute.  The act directly violated the basic human rights of the people of Papua pursuant to Article 19 on ‘right to freedom of opinion and expression’ and 21 (1) on the ‘right to take part in the affairs of the government’ and their Civil and Political rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights including other international and domestic laws.

The very act of exclusion discriminates against the Papuan people and strengthened the pre-existing discriminatory structures of the Indonesian government system. It dehumanised the people of Papua in general and projects Indonesians view of the inferior ‘other’ officially enforcing the norm that has been in existence since 1st May 1963 integration. Indonesia that claim to have one of the best democracies in the Muslim world cannot stoop too low to repeat the same act committed to the same people in the 1960s in the 21st Century when all the people of Indonesia are educated and know their basic human rights.

West Papuans cannot be seen as ‘Monkeys, stupids, drunkards, savages and primitives’ anymore because they are human beings protected under the same basic rights of humanity and should be respected as human beings equal to other human family. Papuans have to be given a fair democratic space to take part in the government freely without fear or favour and not to be subjected to unjust laws that dehumanise them as sub-humans. What is there that the Indonesian government is afraid of if the so called “development” is being enjoyed by the people of Papua? There is nothing to hide under the sun because all the people in Papua are witnesses to the implementation of Law Number 21 of 2001 for the last 20 years.

West Papuans are appealing to the African family in general to petition the Indonesian government through their Embassies throughout the world starting July up to 2021 and do an online campaign against the Indonesian government to allow Papuans to decide their future based on Article 77 of the Special Autonomy Law and democratic principles of international law.


[1] https://allrelease.id/2020/07/01/dilanjutkan-dana-otsus-disepakati-pansus-papua-dpd-ri-dan-kemendagri/

[2] https://www.merdeka.com/peristiwa/perpanjang-dana-otsus-papua-mendagri-tunggu-keputusan-dpr-dan-aspirasi-warga.html  

[3] https://kabar24.bisnis.com/read/20200311/15/1212198/pemerintah-putuskan-perpanjang-dana-otonomi-khusus-papua

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