Newsletter September Newsletter

Protecting Indigenous Groups in Papua

Indonesia’s easternmost island of Papua is home to more than 250 different Indigenous linguistic groups. Wabu Block, in the Intan Jaya regency, belongs mostly to the Moni tribe who have inhabited the land for thousands of years. Indigenous peoples there have suffered endless oppression and human rights abuses at the hands of Indonesian authorities despite the fact that Indonesia has legal obligations to respect and protect their rights – including to their lands and territories. However in 2019, the oppression escalated dramatically when the Indonesian government significantly increased the presence of security forces in the Intan Jaya area. Earlier this year, the central Indonesian government forced through legislation creating three new autonomous regions in Papua against the wishes of the Indigenous people. Since then, raids and beatings carried out by soldiers and police officers have become commonplace. At least 12 Indigenous Papuans in the Intan Jaya region have been victims of unlawful killings, leaving many residents with no option but to flee their houses and villages in search of safety in other cities and in the forest. Now, the Indonesian government has plans to mine for gold in Wabu block. This will not only damage and exploit Indigenous land, but will fuel the existing conflict and repression in the region and put the lives and human rights of Papuans even more at risk. Petition President Joko Widodo to halt the mine for consultations to take place