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IPMSDL extends its gratitude to you for supporting the campaign for the immediate release of Papuan political prisoners (tahanan politik or tapol), including the Balikpapan 7.
We would also like to acknowledge our partners who worked on drafting and initial circulation of the petition, DIVA for Equality FIJI and the Merdeka West Papua Support Network. We have also co-organized with them a webinar on the Balikpapan 7 which you can replay on our page: https://tinyurl.com/ychttdgc
The appeal (https://tinyurl.com/y97tgdnv) submitted to the Panel of Judges has been signed by 94 local, national, and international organisations and 2,264 individual signatories from 88 countries.
We also thank those who took the extra effort to forward the appeal to their parliament members and/or to the Indonesian Embassies in their countries, and salute those who conducted protest actions to amplify the demands. This strong show of international solidarity complemented the work on the ground done by the legal team, and the vigorous campaign led by local and national organizations across West Papua and Indonesia.
As you may have already heard, the sentences for the 7 tapol was significantly reduced to 10-11 months from 5-17 years. Although we take this as a relief, we denounce it all the same as it still fails to recognize the point that these Papuans’ activism is nowhere near criminal. In fact, the anti-racism protests in which they participated had merely called for upholding the Papuan people’s rights which are consistently violated by the Indonesian state, most especially the right to self-determination. The arrest and the entire trial process of the Balikpapan 7, as well as of those arrested during the anti-racism protests last year, is a manifestation of the distorted concept of justice under Indonesian occupation.
We recognize that there is much work to be done in the global solidarity campaign for West Papua. The political prisoners must be acquitted of all criminal charges and be immediately freed along with the 36 other tapol across West Papua. We also emphasize our call in the petition to allow a prompt, thorough, and independent investigation on the human rights violations in West Papua and hold to account the perpetrators of rights abuses. Let us continue our educational discussions about West Papua online and offline and aim for the broadest support for our Papuan brothers and sisters. We would be happy to share the reference materials for these discussions.
To continue receiving updates on West Papua news, you may opt to subscribe to the Merdeka West Papua Support Network’s mailing list (https://papuabarat.wixsite.com/merdeka/contact). We co-established this support network with partner organizations in the Philippines, West Papua, as well as other global formations to spread information on the plight of West Papua, connect with existing support groups, and to organize support where there are none.
Once again, thank you for your support and long live international solidarity!
Beverly Longid, IPMSDL Global Coordinator
For Spanish and French translations, click here: