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Unrest is rising again in Indonesian occupied West Papua. Police have fired bullets into university students in the capital Yayapura, opposing the plan to extend the 2001 Special Autonomy law set to expire in 2021.
This law takes the largest part of the revenue from the extraction of national resources, and sends it to Indonesia. West Papuans say that this is increasing poverty, and it is being used as a vehicle for repression.
Indonesia consistently denies that it has been guilty of human rights abuses. But many have been documented since the territory was annexed, after the 1969 referendum. The referendum has been condemned as a farce, since only 1000 selected West Papuans were allowed to vote. Critics have called the vote fraudulent and unrepresentative.
Most of the population is demanding a proper referendum on independence.
Earlier this month, Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was found dead near his home, his body riddled with bullet and stab wounds. No-one has been charged for his murder, and Papuan independence groups fear there will be no genuine investigation into his death.
The Prime minister of Vanuatu, Bob Loughman, raised the situation in West Papua at the United Nations General Assembly this week. He talked about the continuation of human rights abuses and the lack of progress towards self-determination.
Photo from CNN Indonesia: The student protest at Cenderawasih University