Papuan People’s Petition calls for release of advocate Victor Yeimo

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Arrested Papuan human rights activist Victor Yeimo
Arrested Papuan human rights activist Victor Yeimo ... troubled by declining health.

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

The Papuan People’s Petition — “Petisi Rakyat Papua” — has called on the Indonesian government to release detained human rights advocate Victor Yeimo and to revoke the special autonomy law (version 2).

Yeimo, international spokesperson of the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), was arrested by the Indonesian police in Tanah Hitam, Abupura-Jayapura. He was serving as spokesperson of the Papuan People’s Petition.

Yeimo is a prisoner of the Papua High Prosecutor’s Office and is currently being treated at the Jayapura Regional General Hospital Dok II.

Previously, he was detained in the detention cell of the Mobile Brigade Headquarters in Kota Raja Jayapura, Papua.

Yeimo has been receiving treatment at the hospital because of public pressure both nationally and internationally over serious concerns for his declining health.

The Petisi Rakyak Papua (PRP) is aimed to call upon the central government of Indonesia in Jakarta to revoke the special autonomy law (Otsus) that was passed prematurely by Jakarta in November 2021 without public hearings and considering the voices and demands of the Papuan people brought by 113 organisations.

The call of rejecting the extension of the special autonomy law which expired last year was echoed a few years ago.

No benefit for Papuans
The petition says that since the central government granted the special autonomy law, the indigenous people of West Papua have not benefited. The law itself has become controversial.

The national spokesperson for the petition, Jefry Wenda, said that apart from the 113 organisations making submissions, 718,179 votes of grassroots people opposed support for extension of the special autonomy law. However, the central government of Indonesia has refused to listen.

Before the widespread rejection of the law from the grassroots level, the provincial government of Papua had tried to negotiate with the central government many times, but Jakarta has been reluctant to consider the provincial government’s aspirations.

This year, the Papuan People’s Petition reaffirms the call by stating:

1. PRP is a manifestation of the political stance of the West Papuan people who reject the existence and sustainability of Otsus in West Papua;
2. The PRP will oversee the attitude of the people of West Papua in fighting for the right to self-determination peacefully and democratically;
3. PRP rejected Otsus and agreed to continue raising the Papuan People’s Petition (PRP) for the third stage;
4. The PRP rejects all forms of compromise and political representation outside of the attitude of the West Papuan people;
5. The PRP is committed to promoting democratic unity in the struggle for the national liberation of West Papua; and
6. PRP urges the release of international spokesman Victor Yeimo and all West Papuan political prisoners without conditions!

PRP conference Papua
A Papuan People’s Petition conference. Image: PKP
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