In Nov/Dec 2012 filmmaker Dom Rotheroe and I visited West Papua to make a documentary commissioned by Al Jazeera English TV about the ongoing independence struggle there. Travelling undercover, we met with KNPB (Komite Nasional Papua Barat / National Committee for West Papua) activists to investigate the largely unreported 'silent genocide' taking place in the face of a 40+ year Indonesian military occupation. Watch the documentary.
A West Papuan tribesman in the Baliem Valley wearing the traditional penis gourd, or 'koteka' . In 1971 the Indonesian government launched "Operasi Koteka" ("Operation Penis Gourd") to encourage more 'modern' clothing. It was eventually abandoned due to resistance but western clothing is required in government buildings, and children are required to wear western clothing in school.
Village chief Inakolem Kosay (white shirt) was one of just 1000 West Papuan representatives forced to sign the 'Act Of Free Choice' in 1969 under threat of violence. It is commonly known as the Act of No Choice and West Papuans demand a referendum. "The vote itself was conducted in breach of international law" claims Jennifer Robinson of International Lawyers for West Papua