Benny Wenda has released this statement in light of the further mass arrests and torture of West Papuans by the Indonesian police, just for peacefully supporting West Papua joining the Melanesian Spearhead Group through the United Liberation Movement of West Papua (ULMWP).
I was deeply saddened once again to learn that yesterday on 28th May up to 82 West Papuans were arrested and many were tortured by the Indonesian authorities, just for supporting West Papuan membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Despite 84 West Papuans being arrested exactly 1 week ago for doing the same, my people are determined to continue to show the world that we are Melanesian West Papuans. We are not Indonesian and we want to show the leaders of our fellow Melanesian countries that we want to join our rightful place in the Melanesian family of the MSG.
With deep pain in my heart, I saw more evidence yesterday of my people’s human rights being violated by the Indonesian authorities. Melanesian West Papuans being beaten, tortured and maimed just for peacefully calling on the leaders of Melanesia to please welcome us back into the Melanesian family.
Reports suggest that yesterday up to 82 people across West Papua and 13 were tortured by the Indonesian authorities. The Indonesian police also opened fire on demonstrations and beat several people with gun butts.
In the last few months, there have been many of these peaceful demonstrations in over all around the world showing support for West Papua joining the Melanesian Spearhead Group. When there were simultaneous demonstrations in solidarity in several nations across the pacific, why is it that only during these demonstrations inside West Papua and Indonesia, people were beaten and tortured by police?
All we West Papuans want to do is to show that we support the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) representing us at the Melanesian Spearhead Group but when we do this we are arrested and tortured by the Indonesian authorities.
How many more innocent West Papuans have to be arrested? How many more innocent West Papuans have to be tortured?
How many more innocent Melanesian people in West Papua need to suffer before we are welcomed into the Melanesian Spearhead Group?
We West Papuans know that our fellow Melanesian leaders will not forget us and I am confident and full of faith that one day West Papua will be welcomed back to the Melanesian family of the MSG. I am confident and full of faith that one day we will be free people and hold hands as free Melanesian people in our homelands but we really need the Melanesian solidarity of our fellow Melanesian leaders to help us be free and truly happy people once again.
We will continue to do all that we can to show the world that West Papua needs to be free and come back home to the Melanesian family and we are very encouraged that all around the world, more and more people are hearing the message and helping us in our long struggle for freedom.
West Papuan Independence leader
Spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP)