Papua students in Jakarta call for closure of Freeport, self-determination

KBR – March 3, 2017
Papua students in Jakarta call for closure of Freeport, self-determination
Papua independence rally - Apr 8, 2917 (Natho M Pigai)

Ade Irmansyah, Jakarta – The Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI West Papua) are supporting efforts by seven Pacific countries to take the Papuan problem before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Action coordinator Samsi Mahmud said that this was the only way to resolve the numerous problems in Papua, particularly human rights violations. Samsi also urged the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to give the Papuan people the right to self-determination.

“We also want to convey to the people of Indonesia, to the Indonesian government, the wishes of the Papuan people, namely that self-determination is the democratic solution for the future of our people and our nation. And for us, in relation to the problems that exist in Papua, the solution is self-determination for the Papuan people”, he said in a speech in front of the United Nations representative office for Indonesia in Jakarta on Friday March 3.

Samsi also called on the government to withdraw all military forces, including the police from the entire Papuan territory saying that the presence of military forces is in fact causing Papua to be more susceptible to human rights violations.

“We are asking at all cases of human rights violations in the land of Papua be followed up on and fully resolved. All of them without exception including the latest conflict over a regional election dispute in Intan Jaya”, he said.

Samsi added that the closure of the PT Freeport mine is also non-negotiable. Basically, he said, Freeport’s presence in Papua has not brought any [positive] impact to the Papuan people in the vicinity of the mine. Poverty and discrimination, he said, has not declined there yet the region is extremely rich in natural resources.

“When the Indonesian government issued a permit for exploration and exploitation by the Freeport mine through the Work Contract I which was issued on April 7, 1967, the people and nation of West Papua were not involved. Yet the status of West Papua had yet to be formally recognised internationally as part of Indonesia’s territory”, he added.


Similar rallies were also held by the FRI West Papua in Ternate (North Maluku) and by the FRI West Papua and the AMP in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was “Demo Kantor PBB, Mahasiswa Papua Tuntut Tambang Freeport Ditutup dan Referendum”.]