Crimes against humanity have been and continue to be perpetrated against the West Papuan people. Human rights groups have estimated that 400.000 West Papuans have died since Indonesia took over in 1963. There have been systematic violations of the human rights of West Papuans at the hands of the Indonesian regime, including extra-judicial killings, rape, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, violations of the rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, and denial of free access to NGOs, human rights groups, international observers and the media to freely carry out their work.
In 1969, instead of a proper independence referendum, 1,022 West Papuans were rounded up and forced to declare unanimously and in public their wish to integrate West Papua into the Republic of Indonesia, then ruled by the brutal dictator Suharto. The population at the time was estimated at some 800,000 people, so a fraction of one percent of the people took part.
The Act has been widely dismissed as a farce, yet no action has been taken to redress the injustice to date.
Indigenous peoples have the right to own, develop, control and use the lands and territories, including the total environment of the lands, air, waters, coastal seas, flora and fauna and other resources which they have traditionally owned otherwise occupied or used. This includes the right to the full recognition of their laws, traditions and customs, land-tenure systems, and institutions for the development and management of resources, and the right to effective measures by States to prevent any interference with, alienation of or encroachment upon these rights.
The Indonesian government is consciously destroying the second largest rainforest in the world that is situated on the island. This is not only inflicting great suffering on the local populations, but also threatening the whole ecosystem.
The U.N. security council should take immediate action to prevent further escalation of the conflict and put an end to the military occupation of the Indonesian army. The UN should answer the legitimate call for sovereignty and independence of the people of West Papua.
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