FREE WEST PAPUA POLITICAL PRISONERS CAMPAIGN TEAM, WASHINGTON, DC, USA
For Immediate Release
Date: January 10, 2013
From: Free West Papua Political Prisoners Campaign Team, Washington, DC
Contact: Shireen Parsons, 540-449-9144, firstname.lastname@example.org
Herman Wainggai,703-589-5488, email@example.com
What: Demonstration for West Papuan Independence
Where: Embassy of Indonesia, 2020 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC
When: Thursday, January 17, 2013, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Citizens Declare West Papuan Independence from Military and Corporate Colonization
Since 1963, Indonesia has imposed a brutal military occupation upon the people of West Papua, New Guinea, for the purpose of control of natural resources – namely, the largest gold and copper mine in the world, operated by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., a US corporation.
Human Rights Watch reports that Indonesia has incarcerated nearly 100 activists from Maluku and Papua for peacefully voicing their patriotism and political views. One of those refugees, Herman Wainggai, here at George Mason University as a visiting scholar, was imprisoned for more than two years after daring to raise the West Papuan flag. Herman’s uncle, Dr. Thom Wainggai, died while in prison for the same demonstration of patriotism.
This demonstration commemorates the escape to freedom by 43 West Papuan refugees on January 17, 2006, when, after paddling across open ocean for four days and enduring a violent storm, they beached their traditional canoe in Australia and found asylum. Herman Wainggai was one of them.
Similar demonstrations are planned for Los Angeles, Melbourne and Perth Australia, Honiara City in Solomon Islands, Manokwari City and Yapen Waropen City in West Papua. The people of the world must know about this injustice.