Human Rights & Human Security Journalism, Advocacy and Media, Training and Consultancy for Melanesia

Urgent Appeal For Donations To Support West Papua Media development

Article: Nick Chesterfield – West Papua Media

 

Urgent Appeal For Donations To Support West Papua Media Work

December 1 2010

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As the silly season of spending on stuff approaches, we are asking you to spare a thought for those being dispossessed in West Papua, and to help their voice become their weapon by giving a gift to West Papua Media Alerts. West Papua Media can only exist with the support of people who believe in change, like yourself. Please visit westpapuamedia.info and click on the “donate” button, or you can go directly to our Paypal donations page. For those who prefer not to use Paypal, Bank Details are at the end of this appeal.

Currently in West Papua, after decades of brutal oppression by the Indonesian occupation, Papuan people are skilling up and speaking out, alerting the world to the ongoing situation in Papua and helping create change on the ground. They have embraced the opportunities of citizen media to advance their struggle, and are reporting to the world their previously unreported stories of how they are surviving constant Crimes Against Humanity. For the last few months West Papuan people across all sectors of society have been holding unprecedented mobilisations to reclaim their land. But they need your help to broadcast their call to action.

West Papua Media Alerts, now online, was started to provide a professional service to international media interested in covering the issue of West Papua, the moves of the Papuan people to end human rights abuses, to hold the Indonesian security forces to account for their systematic human rights abuses, and to bring unreported Papuan issues to the front page. We have been taking a leading role in the hard work in raising the profile of West Papua this year, with significant investigations that have broken several major stories this year, and we have gained deep trust from the people of Papua in reporting their stories.

We have established very close working relationships with key international media organisations, and have been doing much quiet behind the scenes work as well as several very public coups. A few examples include:

  • the sourcing, verification and release of deeply shocking leaked videos of Indonesian military brutality;
  • Joint investigation with Fairfax media on the abuses conducted by the Australian trained and funded Detachment 88 “counter” terror unit of the Indonesian military and police in Maluku;
  • Reporting the murder of journalists in West Papua by members of the Indonesian security forces;
  • Intensive coverage and media capacity building for the June/July mass actions of West Papuan people rejecting Special Autonomy and calling for independence;
  • Fixing and organising for many international journalists working undercover in West Papua;
  • Some of our real time work has assisted directly in the prevention of mass acts of violence by the Indonesian security forces, such as our coverage and media advocacy fixing of the July 8-9 occupation of the regional Parliament House. With less than ten minutes before the deadline for dispersal of the 2 day rally of over 45,000 people, the Indonesian security forces were forced to back down due to a BBC report, organised by West Papua Media Alerts, that brought international attention the crisis situation. Extensive international diplomacy occurred in that 15 minutes, together with the extreme discipline of the mass protest, forced Indonesian security to back down. That is just one example of the power of a real time media tool such as West Papua Media Alerts to avert disaster and save lives. Help keep us effective well into 2011.

    Once again, you can donate by clicking to our Paypal site:
    or by visiting westpapuamedia.info and clicking on the Donate button at the top right of the page;

    This has primarily been self funded, and our well has run dry. Several of our members can no longer contribute funding as they have to pay for medical costs associated with overwork. We are at the stage that without funding soon we will have to review our operations. Please help now to allow us to continue, we can only survive with your help.

    This work comes at a cost. After the release of the torture videos, West Papua Media was the first of five organisations subjected to a massive, organised Distributed Denial of Service cyber-attack, which investigating agencies have classified as an act of cyber-terrorism. We have had to spend a great deal of time and money to make our systems resistant to further acts of aggression. However, these attacks only increased our resolve to keep working harder to expose Indonesian abuses in Papua

    In 2011, West Papua Media is conducting groundbreaking citizen and human rights media safety and investigations training, and is also seeking to engage and support many more Papuan journalists to tell their peoples story to the world. Simply to break even and cover our immediate costs for this work, we have an initial target of A$6000 while we search for ongoing funding for this groundbreaking project. your contribution will help secure major and safe citizen media development outcomes for West Papuan people.

    Once again, you can donate by clicking on the link below:
    https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ACBNBWT6XA4KJ or by visiting westpapuamedia.info and clicking on the Donate button at the top right of the page;

    or (if you are in Australia) by depositing directly into the following Bank Account:

    Bendigo Bank
    BSB: 633000
    Account Number: 140780594

    If you are from outside of Australia and wish to do a bank transfer, please contact us directly at wpmedia_admin@riseup.net .

    The development of West Papua`s own media voice is something which needs your support. Please help us to help West Papuan people make their voice their weapon.

    With deep appreciation and solidarity,

    Nick Chesterfield,
    on behalf of West Papua Media.

    Please forward this to people who are interested in developing robust citizen media and protecting human rights

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