Benny Wenda: Political Prisoners Released - With Your Help Afdrukken
woensdag 23 september 2020 09:28

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An exclusive message from Benny Wenda, founder of the Free West Papua Campaign.
Dear ,After pressure from hundreds of our supporters across the world, over 14 West Papuan political prisoners have been released.On behalf of the people of West Papua, I thank all of you who took action and stood with us against these rigged political trials. Jakarta could not ignore the thousands of letters, statements and demonstrations all over the world.
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Huge crowds greet the return of Papuan political prisoners to Jayapura in August.
Some of our people's most important leaders, including Agus Kossay and Buchtar Tabuni, were finally released after being found guilty of 'treason' in sham trials. The prosecution wanted 17 years in prison, but they were only sentenced to 11 months.
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From left: Steven Italy, Hengki Hilapok and Agus Kossay address the people on their release.
Our fight is not over yet. There are still dozens of West Papuans in Indonesian jails, imprisoned for speaking the truth and fighting for justice. I need all our solidarity activists to keep up the pressure on Indonesia and your own governments.In Wamena, for example, eight more of my people are facing trial for their alleged involvement in anti-racist demonstrations last year. Eight more Black Melanesians, the victims of racism, are being punished for standing up for equality. Although the Indonesian State denies it, Papuan Lives Matter. Please take action to defend these political prisoners now.
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Papuans in Jakarta demonstrate against Special Autonomy (Otsus).
The people of West Papua are also starting a huge struggle on the ground against any renewal of the 2001 'Special Autonomy' law. We never wanted 'autonomy': only the right to freely determine our own future. We want a referendum on independence.We need the world to watch and stand in solidarity with us during this campaign. The Indonesian military is already preparing to increase its deployment in West Papua to crack down on any uprising, as well as continuing its brutal operations in Nduga and elsewhere. The world's eye is essential to stop a repeat of East Timor's bloodbaths.Here is a list of parliamentary questions we need tabled all over the world. Please send them to your local representatives and ask them to raise these issues with your government

International solidarity is the soil in which the West Papuan movement grows stronger. Every one of you has an important role to play in making history.
With warmth and solidarity,
Benny Wenda

Founder, Free West Papua Campaign
Chair, United Liberation Movement for West Papua
P.s. Veronica Koman is an Indonesian lawyer who has helped defend many West Papuans and to spread the reality of what happens in our homeland. She was forced into exile during the 2019 uprising. After the Indonesian government forced her to repay her scholarship,
the people of West Papua helped raise the money to pay it back.