Uncle Kevin Buzzacott and the West Papua Freedom Flotilla will be participating in the West Papua Freedom Forum in Darwin in July on the anniversary of the Biak Massacre with a focus on Indigenous networking between Australia and West Papua.

Larrakia and Arabunna Aboriginal Elders June Mills and Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, along with Australian West Papua organizations, Indigenous groups and non-indigenous supporters will converge at the forum from the 4th to the 6th of July to participate in workshops, talk, storytelling and musical performance.

Exiled West Papuan leader, former political prisoner and member of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, Jacob Rumbiak, will also attend the Freedom Forum after returning from the Solomon Islands where he has been facilitating West Papua’s submission for membership into powerful regional body, the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

“We work for world peace and justice, we start from our region, the Pacific.” Mr Rumbiak said.

Uncle Kevin Buzzacott has confirmed that the West Papua Freedom Forum will result in a public statement and action plan to commemorate the Biak Massacre atrocities in which more than 150 people were brutally tortured, killed and their bodies dumped at sea, after a pro-independence protest on the northern West Papuan island of Biak in July, 1998.

“We can’t have this murder on our doorstep. We must contest the Indonesian authority. We must free West Papua at all cost.” Mr Buzzacott said.

Flotilla Media Contact for Freedom Forum:
Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Arabunna Elder 0431157747

Flotilla Media Contact for West Papua:
Ronny Kareni, West Papuan Media Spokesperson 0401222177kev_fb


West Papua Freedom Flotilla spokesperson Izzy Brown has confirmed that the Freedom Flotilla will set sail from Darwin this year to undertake their latest direct action on the high seas to highlight damage caused by multinational corporations and colonial governments on the land and people of West Papua, specifically targeting major shareholder Rio Tinto and the Freeport Grasberg mine in Timika.

”We’re targeting Rio Tinto and the Freeport Grasberg mine because the genocide they are committing on the West Papuan people is disgusting. Not only are they funding the Indonesian military to kill indigenous West Papuans, they are also poisoning the land and water beyond repair and disregarding global environmental standards,” Ms Brown said.

The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua successfully defied the Indonesian Navy and Australian authorities in 2013 when they completed their mission to reconnect West Papuan and Aboriginal Peoples.

After a 5000 kilometre journey from Lake Eyre in South Australia all the way to the so-called Indonesian border north off the Torres Strait Arabunna Elder, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, delivered sacred water from his own country and ashes from Aboriginal tent embassies around Australia directly to West Papuan leaders.

The secret ceremony took place between two small boats off the south coast of Papua, avoided interception by authorities and gained global media attention putting West Papuan issues in the spotlight.

Flotilla Media Contact for Direct Action: Izzy Brown 0497513584 or 0410535896flag-dawn_fb

West Papuan National Day Goes Global

This Sunday the 1st of December 2013 events will be held across West Papua, Australia and the world to mark the day West Papua’s flag was first raised in preparation for Independence from the Dutch in 1961.

Global solidarity for a free West Papua is surging in the wake of the unprecedented public awareness generated by the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua and the occupation of the Australian Embassy in Bali during the APEC summit.

Supporters in Melbourne will be welcoming the arrival of Jeremy Bally, ‘Pedalling for Papua’, on the completion of his worldwide cycling tour raising awareness about the ‘slow-motion genocide’ in West Papua through his unique animated spoken-word ukulele performances.


The last leg of Jeremy’s 12,000km journey will begin at Clayton Railway Station at 11am, Sunday 1st December. Cyclists flying Morning Star flags, will join him to ride along the Yarra Bike Path before being welcomed at St Paul’s Cathedral at 2pm. The riders will be welcomed by Taungurong Elder Uncle Larry Walsh, Greens Senator-elect Janet Rice, and the Freedom Flotilla with entertainment provided by David Bridie, Combat Wombat, a West Papuan String Band and traditional dancers.

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Protests against dumping of West Papuan Asylum Seekers in Abandoned Camp

Six West Papuan refugees who sought asylum in Australia before being deported to Papua New Guinea, have now been relocated to the Iowara refugee camp in East Awin.

At 11am 18th of October 2013 The Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, along with the West Papuan Melbourne Community, the Refugee Action Collective and Indigenous elders will gather to protest the unlawful deportation of the group at Department of Immigration and Border Protection on the corner of Lonsdale and Spring Streets.

Refugees living in Kiunga are bewildered by PNG Immigration’s decision to send a new group of asylum seekers to the camp, which was largely abandoned by refugees after UNHCR ceased providing assistance to the inhabitants in 1998.

Those that continue to live in the camps, surviving without any assistance on land affected by the Ok Tedi mine disaster, speak of the camps as a ghost town.

Anthropologist Diana Glazebrook recorded a West Papuan refugee’s experience living in the camps; “We are corpses, like dried bones without flesh or blood… We feel awkward and exist in a constant sense of hostility in our relation with the landholders, and vigilant, guarded; fearing repatriation by the government.”

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West Papuan Asylum Seekers Dumped in Remote Refugee Camp

Six of the West Papuans who sought asylum in Australia after being persecuted for their involvement in a ceremonial handover of sacred water and ashes as part of the Freedom Flotilla, were relocated under armed guard to Kiunga on Saturday the 12th and will be sent to a refugee camp in East Awin on Tuesday the 15th of October 2013.

The border refugee camp is home to thousands of West Papuan refugees who have fled from violence and persecution to PNG. Since 1986 the PNG government has practised a policy of relocating refugees to the remote camps, where their freedom of movement is restricted and their best hope is to one day gain a ‘permissive residency permit’ to allow them to live outside the camps.

10 year old Paskalis Mahuze (left) in Kiunga town on Sunday 13/10

10 year old Paskalis Mahuze (left) in Kiunga town on Sunday 13/10

Ruben Blake, spokesperson for the Freedom Flotilla said, “It is disturbing that Australia would be complicit in a policy of dumping refugees in a remote border region and leave them to fend for themselves. Australian mining company BHP Billiton dumped its tailings from the Ok Tedi Mine into the river, and now Australia is dumping its refugees in the affected area.”

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Refugee Action Collective: West Papuans taken to Port Moresby airport

The seven West Papuan asylum seekers secretly removed from Australia to Port Moresby in late September have been taken by police to the Port Moresby airport.

The asylum seekers have been under guard at their hotel since a meeting with PNG immigration offcials on Thursday afternoon.

At around midday today (Saturday, 12 October) police arrived at the hotel to escort them to the airport.

Police Guard airport preventing friends talking to asylum seekers

Police Guard airport preventing friends talking to asylum seekers

It is understood that they are being taken to Kiunga camp in the Western Province.

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Refugee Action Coalition: PNG RENEGES ON REFUGEE DEAL


The seven West Papuan asylum seekers secretly returned from Boigu Island to Port Moresby in late September are now under guard at the hotel where they had been taken on their return.

The seven asylum seekers were placed under guard after a meeting with PNG government officials late yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

At that meeting, Immigration officials told them they will be taken to the isolated West Papuan camp, Kiunga, in Western Province close to the PNG border with Indonesia. There was no discussion of PNG processing their refugee claims.


The group being taken by the IOM to PNG ICSA on Thursday 10/10

The officials told them that UNHCR could process their claims in the camp, but the UNHCR does not have a presence at the camp, or indeed, in PNG.

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Refugee Action Collective: Deadline looms for West Papuan asylum seekers in Port Moresby

The seven West Papuans secretly returned to Port Moresby from Australia a week ago have been given until tomorrow, Thursday 10 October to make an asylum application to PNG immigration authorities.

PNG authorities have told the asylum seekers that unless the application is made by Thursday, they risk being treated as illegal migrants. But the West Papuans believe that Australia has an obligation to process their claims and ensure their safety.

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“PNG’s ultimatum to the asylum seekers highlights the Coalition’s failure to uphold the rights of the West Papuans. Scott Morrison has admitted that the government did not follow the 2003 MoU and returned them to PNG despite the fact they had not been in PNG for more than seven days as required by the MoU,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

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Protests in Moresby and Melbourne against Unlawful Deportation

Seven West Papuan asylum seekers who were deported by the Australian government to Papua New Guinea after arriving in the Torres Strait last week have refused an ultimatum to either be returned to West Papua or claim asylum in PNG. The group includes a ten year old child and a pregnant woman.

Jacob Mandobayan, spokesperson for the group, said today “This ultimatum is not a choice. We have no option to return to West Papua as we would be arrested or killed. If settled in PNG we are still not safe from persecution.”

West Papuan protester at DIAC in Melbourne on 1st of October

West Papuan protester at Department of Immigration and Citizenship

“This is not a choice and its not a decision that we will be forced to make without legal representation. This is a decision that will decide the fate of our lives and the life of a child who is yet to be born. We have a right to be given time and legal representation in order to take further action” he continued.

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Media Release from Refugee Action Coalition Sydney


Yesterday at his press briefing, Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, claimed that Australia had removed seven West Papuan asylum seekers to PNG last Friday on the basis of a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PNG.

But that MoU only allows Australia to remove asylum seekers if they have been in PNG for more than seven days prior to their arrival in Australia.

The West Papuans repeatedly told Australian immigration officials that they had only been in PNG for two nights as they transited that country.

“It seems that the West Papuans have been unlawfully removed from Australia. The Minister has effectively kidnapped and refouled the West Papuan asylum seekers. Scott Morrison has sent these asylum seekers to danger,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

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