UPDATE: Combat Wombat joins the line up on their return from world tour.
Recent events have highlighted the ongoing occupation and colonisation of West Papua by Indonesia. West Papuan freedom fighters have been forced to seek asylum in Australia but were immediately deported and handed over to Papua New Guinea. Grave concerns remain about their future.
This Sunday 6th of October at 10:30am we will be gathering under the trees on Oleander street near the Nightcliff markets.
Come along to hear speakers on West Papua and refugee rights.
This Saturday the 5th of October at 2pm, join the Perth West Papuan community and special guests from the Freedom Flotilla for a presentation, discussion and skype link with Jacob Rumbiak and Uncle Kevin Buzzacott. In true West Papuan style this will be followed with dance and music.
The Freedom Flotilla has returned from the voyage to take sacred ashes and water to West Papua – uniting Australia to West Papua in the fight for Independence from Indonesia. Since the voyage 7 West Papuans have fled the country, have been detained by Australian Immigration and deported to PNG. Many more are in hiding from the Indonesian military. At this critical time as we witness the impacts of Australia’s new immigration laws on our closest neighbours under a violent occupation we invite you to come and show your support for West Papua, learn more about the current situation and offer your help.
Loftus Community Centre, 2/99 Loftus St Leederville WA.
The West Papuan refugee community and supporters of refugee rights will protest at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on the Corner of Lonsdale and Spring streets tomorrow from 8am till 5pm. The group will notify the department of their illegal actions in deporting seven West Papuan asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea, where they have well grounded fears of continued persecution.
The group of asylum seekers fled Merauke after being hunted by Indonesian security forces for their participation in a ceremonial handover of sacred water and ashes from Indigenous Australian elders as part of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua. They then fled to Australia where they claimed asylum. The group was refused legal representation before being informed while already onboard an aircraft that they would be deported to Port Moresby, where they are now detained by PNG immigration.
The group fears for their safety in PNG, based on discrimination and persecution suffered by West Papuan refugees at the hands of PNG authorities.
PNG is a signatory to the Refugee Convention, however with significant reservations, including the rights of refugees to hold paid employment, have access to health care or education or travel freely. West Papuan refugees, many of whom have been living in PNG since the early 1980’s, have not been granted citizenship rights. Many live in squalid conditions without access to land or employment.
PNG military and police have carried out attacks on West Papuan refugee communities in PNG. In 2011 during Special Operation Sunset Merona refugee houses and gardens were burnt by the military. Witness to the aftermath of the tragedy, independent documentary filmmaker David Fedele reported, “They came at night, and burnt down all of their houses and possessions, and destroyed their gardens.”
Media Release from Sydney Refugee Action Coalition
Refugee supporters in Sydney will gather for a ‘Welcome Refugee’ rally at 1pm Sunday 29 September, at Town Hall.
Speakers will include, Irene Doutney, The Greens, Sydney City Coucillor; Sally McManus, sec NSW ASU; Shokufa Tahiri Afghan refugee; Dominique Sherab, Refugee Action Coaltion; Australia West Papua Association.
For background on this issue please have a read of the attached flyer and share the poster.
The details are: 12:30 DFAT Adelaide 55 Currie St City 13th September.
With the election looming and the Freedom Flotilla in the in the Torres Strait making final preparations for the crossing into West Papua, Refugee and West Papuan communities and supporters are gathering on Saturday at 1pm St Marks Church 250 George St Fitzroy to join together in an act of creative resistance.
If you caste your vote in this election to uphold the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and oppose the major parties complicity with human rights abuses in West Papua through their funding of the Indonesian Military, join the community to Vote 4 Boats! If you can’t make it on Saturday in Fitzroy, demonstrate your support by folding your boat and send the photos to the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua via this website, facebook, or twitter!
“Today we stood in solidarity in front of the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. We support the Freedom Flotilla because they are raising awareness about the ongoing genocide and Human Rights violations in West Papua. We reminded Indonesia that West Papua, Maluku, Aceh, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Kalimantan and Sulawesi want to be Free from the Illegal Indonesian Military occupation. Free all Political prisoners in Maluku and West Papua. Stop the killing of peacefull KNPB members in West Papua.
Free Victor Yeimo!
We will continue educating the Dutch People about what is happening today in there former colony.
We wish the Freedom Flotilla a save journey!
Latest reports received by the flotilla from activists on the ground
“In Sorong on the 28th of August a congregation was held in the Maranatha church hall, surrounded by hundreds of police and armored cars. Marantha Church is Protestant Church , Papuan people always used this church to pray for their struggle.
At 2 pm more than 2000 Papuan people participated. They were celebrating from 2 pm until 4 pm, before trying to hold a press conference infront of the church. Suddenly Police came and arrested 4 Papuan Leaders namely
1. Apolos Sewa
2. Yohanes Goram
3. Amandus Mirino
4. Semuel Kasdjok
They where brought to the police station. Police will interogation them. Papuan people need international pressure to release them soon because they only pray without any action or rally.”
“In Merauke the Governor of the Federated Republic of West Papua Ha Anim region expressed his welcome to the Freedom Flotilla. People from remote parts of Merauke district descended on Merauke city to join in welcoming the Freedom Flotilla. The Governor along with the people prepared 52 garlands of flowers to offer to Uncle Kevin Buzzacott, Jacob Rumbiak, and all activists on board the Freedom Flotilla.”
Comment from NFRPB Representative
“Should Jakarta allow the boats of Peace and Justice to enter Merauke, it is the hope of Papuan people that they will travel throughout Papua from Merauke to Timika, Fak Fak, Sorong, Manokwari, Nabire, Serui, Biak and Jayapura. The Papuan people will give their full support, in the form of traditional dances, food, security and everything they have to offer as long as they should stay in Papua. “