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Author praised for opening readers’ eyes to West Papua’s repression

By Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt, March 15, 2017

Bookstore owners, writers, authors, family, friends and a group hopeful of West Papuan independence squeezed into the Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby last night to celebrate the work of young New Zealand author Bonnie Etherington and her novel The Earth Cries Out.

Not only is the novel being celebrated and praised for Etherington’s mastery of the written word, but because of its ability to make the public more aware of life in West Papua, a region controversially ruled by Indonesia since the 1960s.

Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Media Watch editor Kendall Hutt (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Plagued by media freedom and human rights violations, many media freedom and human rights organisations and several Pacific nations have condemned the widespread arrests and imprisonment of West Papuans for non-violent expression of their political views.

These are issues Etherington herself acknowledged speaking with Asia Pacific Report earlier this week, saying she wanted to show readers West Papua’s rich and diverse history, not only its complex political situation.

“I really wanted to show multiple sides of West Papua because it is so often forgotten or stereotyped by the rest of the world.”

This is something those who have already read The Earth Cries Out praise.

Harriet Allan, fiction publisher for Penguin Books New Zealand, commended Etherington in a speech on her ability to provide insight into West Papua through the eyes of a child, that of female protagonist Ruth.

“As Ruth bears witness to what she sees, we too start to hear the voices that have been silenced by politics, sickness, violence and poverty.”

Like Ruth, we come away with a greater understanding of this country and its diverse people and also of ourselves and the bonds of love and friendship.”

 

‘Shed some light’

Although she has not had the chance to read her sister’s entire novel, Etherington’s younger sister, Aimee, says what she has read is very similar to how she and her sister experienced West Papua.

“With the descriptions, I felt like I was back there. She’s done a really good job of capturing how it feels, I guess.”

Aimee Etherington says she hopes her sister’s novel spreads awareness of West Papua.

“Most people that I’ve spoken to don’t really know that it exists, so it will be good to shed some light as to what’s going on there and, I guess, giving a bit of insight on how as New Zealanders and Australians we can actually do something about it.”

 

‘Almost experiencing it’

Like Harriet Allan, Women’s Bookshop owner Carol Beu loved Ruth’s voice.

“I think becoming aware of the situation in Papua through the eyes of this child, Ruth, is really quite special”, Beu told the audience.

“The way it’s revealed, it’s fascinating.”

Beu admits this was also “quite shocking”, due to Etherington’s ability to place the reader in the moment.

“You’re almost experiencing it.”

Penguin fiction publisher Harriet Allan (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Penguin fiction publisher Harriet Allan (left) with author Bonnie Etherington. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Bea also acknowledged those in the audience who were supporting the book on more of a political level, such as West Papua Action Auckland spokesperson Maire Leadbeater.

Bea told those gathered she found the politics of The Earth Cries Out “quite astonishing and wonderful”.

“It’s a book that makes you angry in many ways on a political level.”

Leadbeater herself, however, says she is looking forward to reading the novel.

 

Mister Pip comparisons

“I think looking at countries through a literary perspective can be very helpful at times. I can’t help thinking of the book Mister Pip, about Bougainville and how amazingly helpful that was I think in terms of people understanding the conflict.

“It’s done in a fictionalised way but it’s true to the situation, so I’m picking from what I’ve heard about the book it may achieve that as well.”

Leadbeater is not the only one to draw comparisons with Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip, however.

Tony Moores, owner of bookstore Poppies in Remuera, reached a similar conclusion.

“This is not Mister Pip, but the issues it deals with are quite similar, from a different perspective.”

 

Powerful, shocking

The Creative Hub founder, John Cranna, who also noted ties with Mister Pip, praised Etherington on her talent after listening to several excerpts read by Allan and Etherington herself.

“For such a young writer to be writing about such dramatic and shocking events, and to be pulling it off, is quite an achievement.

To write about violent death is … very hard in a reserved, powerful way, but she certainly did that very well.

Author praised for opening readers’ eyes to West Papua’s repression was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

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Isi Pidato Pernyataan Pacific Coalision For West Papua, 1 Maret 2017 di Jenewa Swiss

Republik Vanuatu

Pernyataan disampaikan oleh Hon. Ronald K Warsal (MP)

Menteri Hukum dan Pengembangan Masyarakat, Republik Vanuatu

Sesi Ke 34 Dari Dewan Hak Asasi Manusia 
1 Maret 2017, Jenewa, Swiss

Bapak Presiden Mulia, Distinguished Delegasi Hadirin sekalian. Republik Vanuatu sangat senang untuk mengatasi pertemuan ini.

Hari ini, saya berbicara atas nama kedua Vanuatu dan enam negara lain di kawasan kami Pasifik: Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Kepulauan Marshall, dan Kepulauan Solomon

Bapak Presiden, kami tujuh negara telah datang bersama-sama hari ini – dan dalam pernyataan tertulis bersama terpisah – untuk menarik perhatian para anggota terhormat dari Dewan HAM PBB untuk situasi makam di Papua Barat.

Bapak Presiden, khusus, kita fokus perhatian Anda pada sejumlah pernyataan terbaru oleh pemegang mandat dari Dewan ini tentang pelanggaran Indonesia yang serius pada hak asasi manusia orang asli Papua:
• Surat bersama yang dikeluarkan oleh Pelapor Khusus PBB tentang promosi dan perlindungan hak atas kebebasan berpendapat dan berekspresi;
• Pelapor Khusus tentang hak atas kebebasan berkumpul secara damai dan berserikat;
• Pelapor Khusus tentang hak-hak masyarakat adat;
• Pelapor Khusus tentang luar hukum, atau sewenang-wenang;
• Dan Pelapor Khusus tentang penyiksaan dan lain yang kejam, tidak manusiawi atau merendahkan martabat atau hukuman.

Kami juga menarik perhatian ke rekening lain dari kekerasan negara Indonesia di Papua Barat, termasuk:
• Komunikasi dari Komite PBB tentang Penghapusan Diskriminasi Rasial, mengacu pada pembunuhan dan penangkapan dari Papua;

  • Banyak laporan terdokumentasi dengan baik eksekusi di luar hukum aktivis dan penangkapan, pemukulan dan penembakan fatal demonstran damai, termasuk siswa SMA;
  • Dan laporan kekerasan yang terus-menerus terhadap perempuan Papua.

Kami mencatat bahwa dalam lima belas tahun terakhir Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia Indonesia telah mengumpulkan bukti-bukti pelanggaran HAM berat oleh aparat keamanan Indonesia dalam tiga bidang utama dari Papua Barat: Wasior, Wamena, dan Paniai. Komisi menggambarkan set kasus di dua tempat pertama sebagai kejahatan terhadap kemanusiaan, yang dihukum di bawah hukum Indonesia dan internasional.

Kami ingin lebih menyoroti aspek lain yang luas dari pelanggaran hak asasi manusia – kebijakan pemerintah Indonesia selama beberapa dekade dan berlanjut sampai hari ini dari migrasi non-penduduk asli Papua untuk Papua Barat, mengarah ke penurunan dramatis dalam persentase penduduk asli Papua.

Bapak Presiden, sampai saat ini, pemerintah Indonesia telah, bagaimanapun, tidak bisa membatasi atau menghentikan berbagai pelanggaran luas. Baik memiliki bahwa pemerintah mampu memberikan keadilan bagi para korban. ada juga telah tindakan nyata untuk mengatasi pelanggaran ini oleh pemerintah Indonesia, yang, tentu saja, tanggung jawab langsung dan akuntabilitas utama.

Selanjutnya, pemerintah Indonesia secara konsisten telah dapat menyampaikan laporan yang diperlukan periodik manusia yang tepat dan ulasan, yang merupakan norma internasional penting dimana sekretariat PBB dan anggota negara memantau hak asasi manusia di seluruh dunia. Penilaian yang ditulis sangat penting untuk mengidentifikasi dan menghapus penyiksaan, diskriminasi rasial dan pelanggaran hak asasi manusia pada umumnya.

Bapak Presiden, dalam terang pelanggaran ini dan kelambanan pemerintah Indonesia, kita sebut di Dewan Hak Asasi Manusia PBB untuk meminta Komisaris Tinggi Hak Asasi Manusia untuk menghasilkan laporan konsolidasi dari situasi aktual di Papua Barat.

Laporan Komisaris Tinggi perlu mempertimbangkan informasi dalam Perjanjian yang ada, Prosedur Khusus, dan Universal Periodic Review, serta laporan dari organisasi internasional dan regional lainnya dan organisasi non-pemerintah.

Laporan ini juga harus rinci berbagai hak di bawah Bill Internasional tentang Hak Asasi Manusia dan konvensi terkait, termasuk hak untuk menentukan nasib sendiri.

Dan laporan harus membuat rekomendasi untuk tindakan segera untuk menghentikan pola pelanggaran HAM seperti yang dibuktikan oleh banyak Prosedur Khusus dan badan-badan lain disebutkan sebelumnya.

Akhirnya, kami meminta kerjasama penuh dan dicadangkan dengan Komisaris Tinggi dalam pemenuhan mandat ini, termasuk penyediaan oleh pihak berwenang Indonesia akses lengkap untuk setiap orang di Papua Barat yang dianggap tepat untuk memenuhi dalam penyusunan laporan ini.

Bapak Presiden, seperti yang saya tutup, kami percaya bahwa tantangan dari Papua Barat harus dibawa kembali ke agenda PBB.

Terima kasih sekali lagi untuk kesempatan untuk mengekspresikan pandangan saya di forum ini. Panjang Allah Yumi Stanap. Dalam Tuhan kita berdiri. Terima kasih.

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment - 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment – 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment - 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment – 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment - 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment – 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment - 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Vanuatu, High-Level Segment – 7th Meeting, 34th Regular Session Human Rights Council

Sumber:

Isi Pidato Pernyataan Pacific Coalision For West Papua, 1 Maret 2017 di Jenewa Swiss was originally published on PAPUAPost.com