Those who protest for independence openly in West Papua do so at a high personal cost. It is illegal to raise the morning star flag and many West Papuan leaders are sitting out long jail terms for peaceful acts of defiance.
Indonesia guards West Papua aggressively not allowing journalists, diplomats or human rights workers into the country.
And it’s no surprise – the massive US owned Freeport McMoran gold and copper mine in West Papua is one of the Indonesia’s largest taxpayers. Australian companies also own a number of mines in West Papua.
Indonesia has been criticised for many human right’s abuses in the past which includes the mass slaughter of communists in 1965 in Indonesia itself, the invasion of East Timor in 1975, and now it’s illegal occupation of West Papua.
Indonesia is seen as an important political ally for Australia, and politicians from both sides are reluctant to upset their Indonesian counterparts.
Australia maintains close ties with the Indonesian military. It also provides training and funding for its counter-terror police unit, Detachment 88, which has been involved in recent crackdowns on the independence movement in West Papua.
Australia is home to a large West Papuan community and a large network of supporters of West Papuan independence.
At the moment supporters are in the process of forming a Free West Papua Party to run at the next Federal electection.
All Austalians should watch the following video….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcfzkTvbV9k