Herman Wainggai is a Dictator ?


Herman Wanggai (ABCTV doc)

Herman Wanggai (ABCTV doc)

In a SIMPA letter entitled “Two Indonesian citizens returned to Indonesia!” dated September 23 2008 20:02:10 -0700, Herman threatened the safety both of them and stated that both people are the enemy of free Papua movement. He added, “Congratulation on Your Betrayal”.


In this case, the government of the Republic of Indonesia and Australia should protect the safety of both people. Anybody has right to choose their life. Based on Papuan perception, both Gobay and Yubel inspire everyone with confidence.   



  1. 1

    Dear Friends of West Papuan,

    The Indonesian government returned two of the 43 asylum seekers, claiming they would be safe, and that life in West Papua was ‘normal’. Hana Gobay and Jubel Kareni said they returned for personal reasons, even if their decision was promulgated by an attractive fiscal return from the Indonesian authorities. In Jakarta, the government claims their return is proof that the Papuans who fled by boat to Australia in 2006 fabricated reasons for political asylum in Australia.

    I ask the Indonesian government, if West Papua is safe, why are there, at the moment, more than thirty Papuan political prisoners incarcerated in Java and in Timika, Fak-Fak, Manokwari and Jayapura, for raising a flag. Some of them have been sentenced to fifteen years in prison. On the other hand, the soldier who shot and killed the Wamena man at a UN Indigenous Day celebration in August 2008 has not been charged. And the Kopassus ‘heroes’ who assasinated a Papuan leader Theys Eluay in 2001 were sentenced to months, not years in jail (and according to their families never served their term anyway).

    This is the lawless ‘normal’ state that Hana and Jubel have returned to.

    As a former political prisoner, and coordinator of the 43 asylum seekers, let me remind people that the systematic oppression, terror, intimidation, rape, kidnapping, incarceration, poisoning and murder of indigenous Melanesians in West Papua is no different to the situation we left in 2005.

    I have been active in the independence movement since 1988, ten years before Indonesia’s so-called reformasi period, and haven’t seen any significant improvement in the Indonesia government’s approach to the political or the social problems in West Papua. I remember being at Cenderawasih University at 6pm on 30 November 2004 with Filep Karma, Jusak Pakage, Edison Waromi, and Jefry Pagawak. It was only a couple of months before I went into seclusion before leaving for Australia. We were preparing to raise the Morning Star flag on Trikora Field as part of our traditional 1 December memorial. At 11.30 pm, the army and police started to block the road with tanks, trucks and police cars. Fifty soldiers slept in the field so they wouldn’t miss the ceremony, and at 9am the next morning, Trikora field looked like a war zone. Fillep Karma and Jusak Pakage led the West Papuan people, singing and praying, to the flag ceremony. Indonesian troops open fired. Others
    launched an orgy of beating and kicking. Karma and Pakage tried to negotiate with them, but were forced into a police car, taken away, charged with subversion and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

    A new attitude to rape, introduced to the UN by the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay from South Africa, enables us to begin preparing legal cases for crimes-against-humanity. And since, as Ms Pillay has declared “rape amounts to genocide when it is intended to destroy a particular group” we are warning Indonesians to begin bracing themselves for further exposure of what their governments have done, in their name, to West Papuans since 1 January 1963.

    There is no question that our inalienable right to express our views and political aspirations is aggressively denied by the Indonesian goverment. For this reason, I am asking the United Nations and the foreign affairs ministers of regional governments to regard the pronouncements of safety for Hana and Jubel with the scepticism they deserve. Their returned does not refute or disprove their original reasons for leaving, nor does it indicate that conditions have improved inside West Papua.

    We are presenting our concerns, including those we have for Hana and Jubel, to the Indonesia Consulate in Melbourne on 16th October 2008 at 11 am. As interested observers will remember, it was this office which has been charging Indonesians in Melbourne since we arrived in 2006 (especially members of the numerous Indonesian Protestant churches) to seek out the 43, with the express intention of trying to undermine the decision of Australia’s Department of Immigration in granting us political asylum.

    Do join the 41 Papuan refugees at the Consulate in Queens Road Melbourne on 16 October 2008. We need your shoulders to help us carry the imperative for justice and human rights in our region. We want to meet Australians who will fight for the release of our political prisoners, and who will stand with us as we negotiate our rights and responsibilities in the self-determination of the West Papuan people.


    Herman Wainggai

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