West Papua: Statement From Benny Wenda On 51st Anniversary Of West Papua Independence


1st December 2012 is a very significant day for West Papua. It is 51 years since the Kingdom of the Netherlands recognised our Parliament the Neguna Raad Council, our national anthem and our national flag the Morning Star on 1st December 1961.

In 1963 Indonesia occupied West Papua and banned our flag, our anthem and our parliament.

My people have been crying for freedom for the last 51 years. No one heard their cries for freedom because Indonesia silenced us in our own country. We are under illegal occupation. Today I am again asking all peoples across the world to help us. In Africa, in South America, Australia, the Caribbean, and everywhere across the world, you have freedom to raise your voice and to raise the Morning Star flag in solidarity with the people of West Papua. Let the Morning Star fly freely in your homes and your cities because we are banned by Indonesia from raising our own flag.

Let us remember today Fillip Karma in jail for 15 years for raising the Morning Star Flag, Yusak Pakage, Buchtar Tabuni, Forkorus Yaboisembut, and all the other courageous West Papuans who are now political prisoners in their own country.

The churches and civil society organisations estimate that 500,000 Papuans have died since Indonesia invaded. On this 51st Anniversary of our brief freedom, I am asking all people who believe in freedom and justice to help us before it is too late.

Please ask your governments to stop supplying Indonesia with arms. We defend ourselves with bows and arrows against bombs.

Please ask Indonesia to release all political prisoners. We are human beings like you. Do we not have the same right to freedom of expression?

Please send journalists to West Papua to see for yourself what is happening to us.

I write this message with my heart crying because my people are not free.

Thank you for all the support

Benny Wenda

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