Expert Opinion

What we talk about when we talk about Papua

The debate over Papua flared up again in Indonesia after anti-racism protests in the US triggered a social media campaign highlighting the plight of Papuans. Like black people in America, they have long suffered from structural racism.

In a rare event, racism in Papua was brought into the public conversation. With the powerful hashtag #PapuanLivesMatter, Indonesians — Papuans and non-Papuans — spoke about the various abuses suffered by Papuans, including the fate of dozens of Papuan prisoners of conscience  prosecuted for protesting against the same thing that took George Floyd’s life: racism.

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