The Balikpapan 7 case was one of the cases that highlighted the truth about Indonesian justice system that shook the foundation of the existing ‘contract’ between Papuans and the Indonesian State in a democratic sense. Papuans were never part of the creation of an ‘Indonesian State’ in 1945 and had never in their entire lives agreed ‘freely and willingly’ democratically to submit under Indonesian State to be ruled under its 1945 constitution. The core of all the issues has been that; Papuans never signed a ‘contract’ democratically to be ruled by Indonesian state system that came into existence on August 17th 1945. The fundamental aspect of a relationship between a state and its citizen is the citizen’s love for the state and state’s protection over its citizen; that is not with Indonesia and Papuans. The contract was not there from the beginning till now; it was a mistake at the first place when Indonesia included Papua into Indonesia which Indonesia need to right that wrong, it’s not too late for Indonesia to make things right.

The case revealed yet another deep wound within the established justice system in the country that favours and protects some sectors of the population more than others. The system itself is generally good but the application has been discriminatory against the minorities and the ‘black people’ in this case Papuans. Criminalization of activists for conducting peaceful protests and sentencing them under different laws with long term prison sentences are some of the wounds that do not seem to have a cure within the Indonesian State system.

The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement advocates are destroying monuments across the world that stood the test of time as symbols of racial hatred and bigotry projecting one superior race over another. One wonders when Indonesia will destroy its racial and military superiority monuments in Papua and open up to Papuans; see Papuans as equal citizens under 1945 Constitution. The Indonesian State has shown time and time again through its military, political, economic, social and legal systems that Papuans were never accepted as equal citizens of Indonesia from the start up till now and will never be accepted for as long as Papuans exist inside Indonesian State without a proper ‘contract agreement’.

For those Papuan leaders who have been blind to the truth of the ‘1969 act of free choice’ and continue to support an oppressive system to exploit the people and the resources of Papua by a state without a proper ‘contract’ at the first place are nothing but are sell outs. We are talking human beings who have history, social systems, legal systems, ideology and race that are completely different from what is inside Indonesian State that continue to supress and subjugate Papuan people each day with its own systems that do not want to integrate with Papuan systems. Papuans have dignity and integrity like all human races that should have been respected by other human beings including Indonesians long time ago and these abuses should have never been repeated for far too long in the 21st Century, yet it continue to exist.

SIP calls upon the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to listen to the voices of Papuan people through their leaders;

  1. supports the call made by the Papuan Catholic Priests that the Indonesian government should look deeper into having a serious talk with the people of Papua through their leaders to resolve the historical, political, economic and social issues in Papua that can only be realised through Dialogue. If internal dialogue is not possible, we urge the government of Indonesia to allow for a neutral third party outside of Indonesia to involve to mediate between Indonesia and Papua;
  2. supports the call made by the Papuan Coalition of Lawyers for Law and Human Rights that the Indonesian government should review its legal system and to allow justice to run freely without political interference;
  3. support the call made by the political leaders of Papua province including DPRP, MRP, DPD to release the Balikpapan 7. We urge that the Papuan leaders give the same undivided support to the option for peaceful dialogue suggested by the Catholic Priests, Papuan Leaders cannot close their ears and feed from Jakarta and maintain the status quo for a long time. ENOUGH IS ENGOUGH PAPUAN LEADERS MUST SPEAK UP FOR A GENUINE DIALOGUE WITH INDONESIA;
  4. appealing to the partners and all those who value human lives in the region and throughout the world to support the call made by the Papuan Catholic Priests and the Papuan people’s call for a peaceful dialogue between Indonesian State and People of Papua.

We hope that all stakeholders would open up to see the truth inside the relationship between Papua and Indonesia and act on it without reservations.

Solidarity for Indigenous Papuans

[1] Solidarity for Indigenous Papuans is a network of Papuan NGOs and Individuals aspire to advocate for the rights of indigenous people of Papua


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