Papuan Human Rights Activist Dies at Age 61

By Cindy Trinh
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania

MANOKWARI, West Papua – Papuan human rights activist, Viktor Kaisiepo, passed away in his home town of Amersfoort, in the Netherlands, at the age of 61.

Kaisiepo was a spokesperson for the West Papua People’s Front, which is a federation of Papuan organizations in the Netherlands.

Kaisiepo was born in Dutch New Guinea. His family left for the Netherlands when Dutch New Guinea was handed over to Indonesia in 1962.

Kaisiepo’s father was a well-known activist for Papuan independence. Viktor Kaisiepo followed his father’s footsteps, and also became one of the most well regarded activists for Papuan independence.

Kaisiepo frequently lobbied the United Nations to promote the rights of his people as well as the rights of other indigenous peoples.

He devoted his life to the right to self-determination of the Indonesian province of Papua.

Kaisiepo became a familiar face to the indigenous activists throughout the world, representing the indigenous peoples of Papua at various international conferences.

He was the Executive Director of the Foundation Papua Lobby, and a member of Presidium Dewan Papua and represented the organization in Europe, the United States, and at the United Nations. Since 2003, he served as a consultant to the Word Bank Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples.

He also co-founded and held positions in various NGOs, including: the Unrepresented Nations and People’s Organization (UNPO), an international organizations with 110 millions members whose aim is to achieve recognition and improvement for peoples through peaceful means; the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the Tropical Forests; the secretariat of Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP); and served as a Human Rights Defender in 1985 for the United Nations.
Kaisiepo will be remembered as one of the most influential human rights activists.

For more information, please see:

Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Papuan activist Kaisiepo dies – 31 January 2010

Radio New Zealand International – Papuan activist Kaisiepo dies aged 61 – 31 January 2010

Solomon Star – Papuan activist Kaisiepo dies aged 61 – 31 January 2010

Cultural Survival – “We’ve Gained a Lot”: Viktor Kaisiepo Discusses the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People

First People’s Worldwide – Board Bios

Author: Impunity Watch Archive