National liberation

On January 25, Benny Wenda, chairperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), handed a petition signed by 1.8 million West Papuans to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The petition called for the United Nations to “put West Papua back on the Decolonisation Committee agenda and ensure our right to self‐determination denied to us in 1969 is respected by holding an Internationally Supervised Vote”.

The petition handover was facilitated by the government of the South Pacific island state of Vanuatu.

Update: Since this interveiw was published by Democracy Now!. President Trump has recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president, calling democratically elected President Maduro “illegitimate.” In response, Venezuela has cut diplomatic ties with the U.S., giving diplomats 72 hours to leave the country.

Rex Rumakiek

Rex Rumakiek, a veteran campaigner for independence for his homeland of West Papua, lives in political exile in Australia. He serves as secretary of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP). On the eve of West Papua Flag Day, an annual commemoration of the declaration of independence by the Free Papua Movement on December 1, 1961, Rumakiek was part of a group that raised the Morning Star flag over Leichhardt Town Hall in Sydney.

 In an exclusive broadcast, US-based independent news outlet Democracy Now! broke the media blockade and visited the occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and occupying power Morocco’s violent crackdown.

The Turkish state’s hostility towards the Kurdish people continues, having now escalated its threats against Rojava.

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on November 22 that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was wrongly on its list of terrorist organisations between 2014-17.

NSW Supreme Court judge Lucy McCallum discharged the jury on December 6 after it failed to agree on a verdict in the trial of Kurdish journalist Renas Lelikan on “foreign fighter” charges under Australia’s draconian “anti-terrorism” laws.

When it comes to the infrastructure of genocide, you could illustrate it using almost any photo of a school, house, shop or village in the West Bank. You could bookmark a Google maps page of a particular West Bank town — then look again in three or six months time and note the destruction wrought.

This is one way of keeping track of the demolitions of Palestinian homes and Israel’s attempts to impose an “Israeli only” identity on the landscape.

In recent weeks, senior judges in the loftiest halls of the Spanish legal system — the Supreme Court, the National High Court and the Constitutional Court — have been exposed as subverters of a fair legal process, lackeys of Spain’s almighty banking elite and bumbling incompetents, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

Turkish troops fired across the border on November 1, killing a six-year-old girl in the northern Syrian village of Til Findir.

The murder was part of a pattern of harassment by the Turkish army against the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS). The DFNS is a liberated area administered by democratic local councils, with equal representation of men and women and the inclusion of ethnic and religious minorities.

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