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17 Jun 2009

The Open letter from Benny Wenda to Indonesia Ambassador in London By WPNews

Jun 17, 2009, 17:31

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P.O. Box 656, Oxford, OX3 3AP England, U.K. Tel: 077766875009

11th June 2009

Mr Ambassador

When the BBC recently broadcast their special undercover report about West Papua, your embassy gave a statement stating that nobody is immune from prosecution for human rights abuses committed in West Papua. You also claimed that Indonesia is a ‘mature democracy’.

The BBC tell us that despite their requests, they have still received no evidence from you to suggest that any members of the Indonesian security forces have been held accountable for human rights abuses committed in West Papua. We also understand that since the program, there have been renewed efforts by the Indonesian security forces to find General Goliath Tabuni, resulting in many Papuan women and children being killed by the Indonesian army. These reports are currently being investigated by the UK Foreign Office.

Today, in this open letter (of which we are also sending a copy to the BBC, Channel 4 News, the UK Foreign Office, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International), we challenge you to show that your claims that “Indonesia is a mature democracy and should not be judged by old yardsticks” are true. If you do not respond to this letter then it will be clear that you were lying to the BBC.

We challenge you to explain the following:

Why has there has been no follow-up regarding the shooting dead of tribal leader Opinus Tabuni, who died during an event to commemorate the anniversary of the United Nations indigenous people's day on 9 August 2008 in Wamena?

If Indonesia is a democracy (in which freedom of speech should surely be a central facet), then why are people put in prison for 15 years for raising the West Papua flag?

Why are two Papuan men Sebby Sambom and Buchtar Tabuni currently on trial for peacefully supporting the launch of International Parliamentarians for West Papua?

Why did prison officials refuse food and water to Sebby Sambom and Buchtar Tabuni for over 3 days in January of this year? What action has been taken to hold the prison officers to account?

In light of the report from Human Rights Watch stating that torture and abuse are endemic at Abepura Prison in Jayapura, what steps are being taken to hold those prison officers to account? Which prison officers will be disciplined for abuse?

Why is the Amnesty International prisoner Yusak Pakage being held in a narcotics prison and being tortured?

Why has the Indonesian Government expelled the International Committee for the Red Cross from West Papua?

Why are cases of rape, torture, intimidation and killings not acted upon by your government?

Why are military numbers building up in West Papua?

It is very much in your interests to make an official response to the questions laid forth in this letter, otherwise it will be clear that you lied to the BBC in your statement on Newsnight, and this will be exposed on other news programs that are currently planning exposes on the reality of life in West Papua.

We look forward to hearing your response

Benny Wenda
West Papua Independence leader
Leader of DeMMak and the Koteka Tribal Assembly

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