Despite ongoing harassment and arrests, civil society groups in West Papua have been working to consult with indigenous people on an issue regarding the region’s political future.
Indonesia’s government is seeking to extend the Papuan provinces’ Special Autonomy Law which expires in 2021.
Special Autonomy was granted to Papua in 2001 in response to growing demands for independence.
A central plank of it was the establishment of the Papua People’s Assembly, or MRP, a form of indigenous senate.
But an academic and author specialising in West Papua, Jason Mcleod, says Papuans have largely rejected Special Autonomy, and feel they haven’t been included by Jakarta in discussions over what comes next.
According to him, the Papuan People’s Petition, a tactical front made up of over a hundred civil society groups and churches, has been working to gauge the views of the people, despite ongoing repression.