Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eni Faleomavaega, 2011 Award Recipient

The West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) is pleased to announce that it is awarding the 2011 "John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award" to the Honorable Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-AS), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressmember Faleomavaega has been an articulate and effective advocate for the defense of human rights in West Papua, and has long worked for a peaceful resolution of the serious problems confronting Papuans.

His extensive knowledge regarding West Papua and his manifest sincerity and good will have enabled him to draw on the respect accorded him by his Congressional colleagues and members of successive Administrations to alert them and the U.S. public more broadly to justice, good governance and development concerns in West Papua.

On September 22, 2010, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, Congressmember Faleomavaega convened the first hearing in the history of the U.S. Congress to include testimony from West Papua's traditional and religious leaders. The hearing, Crimes Against Humanity: When Will Indonesia's Military Be Held Accountable for Deliberate and Systematic Abuses in West Papua, also included testimony from scholars and administration officials from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

Driven by a sense of personal responsibility to carry forward the work of his Samoan relatives who are buried in West Papua and in honor of all those who have lived the struggle, Congressmember Faleomavaega continues to do all he can to hold the Indonesian government accountable so that a better way forward may be found for and on behalf of the people of West Papua.

Past recipients of the award--Carmel Budiardjo (UK, 2008); John M. Miller (U.S., 2009), and Andreas Harsono (Indonesia, 2010)—have uploaded video messages to congratulate Congressmember Faleomavaega. The award includes a plaque and a financial prize which the Congressman has directed be donated to a charity selected by him.

Each of the past award recipients has recorded a video message of congratulations to Congressman Faleomavaega:

Andreas Harsono (Jakarta)

John Miller (ETAN, New York City)

Carmel Budiardjo (TAPOL, London)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Andreas Harsono, 2010 Award Recipient

In 2010 the award was presented to journalist and human rights advocate Andreas Harsono. The first Indonesian to win the award, Harsono is an internationally respected journalist who has earned recognition for his reporting related to human rights and justice issues, including seminal pieces on West Papua. His reporting on human rights themes in West Papua in particular has advanced the cause of human rights by helping to lift the government-imposed veil of secrecy that obscures ongoing human rights abuse there. His authoritative work related to West Papua has inspired journalists and human rights advocates and informed policy makers in Indonesia and around the world.

Monday, July 4, 2011

John Miller, 2009 Award Recipient

The 2009 John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award was presented to the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network and its National Coordinator John M. Miller. ETAN is a leading U.S. NGO working on behalf of human rights in East Timor and Indonesia. In recent years, reacting to the significant deterioration in the human rights environment in West Papua ETAN has been especially active in opposing the U.S. Government's open-ended assistance to the Indonesian military, the TNI, and to the militarized police, BRIMOB, which are the leading human rights abusers in West Papua and the rest of the Indonesian archipelago. ETAN also opposes any restoration of U.S. assistance to the Indonesian Special Forces (KOPASSUS). John M. Miller, has been a key leader in these efforts.