Activists Launch Freedom Flotilla to West Papua

AUGUST 19, 2013

HEADLINES - Democracy Now !  @10mins 

A group of Australian and West Papuan activists have set sail on a "freedom flotilla" bound for the Indonesian territory of West Papua. Organizers say they are seeking to draw attention to West Papua’s struggle for independence and to human rights abuses during 50 years of Indonesian rule.

Jacob Rumbiak: "On behalf of the people of West Papua, and also on behalf of our leader inside prison today, President Yaboisembut and also Prime Minister Edison Waromi, we call to the world to put their eyes to this mission. We want to talk about the truth, because, soon or late, the truth will coming."

Kevin Buzzacott: "We’ve got to free West Papua. We’re hear the call from our brothers and sisters up there, and we’re going up there. Also, we are renewing and reviving our cultural ties to that country. We’re carrying sacred water that comes from that area. We’re linking back to water and linking our ties again."

It is estimated that as many as 500,000 West Papuans have been killed since the 1960s when Indonesia took control. The Indonesian military has reportedly been ordered to prepare to intercept the boats, which will be entering Indonesian waters without proper permission.