By Human Rights Graduate Student, Francisco Socrates
On April 08, 2022, the cohort met with Peter Pin, an experienced Executive with expertise on sales, management, and marketing. Currently, Peter is teaching at the Business Schools of George Washington University and Catholic University of America. But he had a different business when he met up with us last Friday: to tell us about his actual human rights work on West Papua.
Peter is one of the directors of the West Papuan Human Rights Center, a non-profit he helped establish. The Center aims to let the world know about the human rights issues that the indigenous people in West Papua are facing under the Indonesian government. Peter told us the history of the questionable process of inclusion of West Papua to the Republic of Indonesia in the ’60s, the long-time struggle of the West Papuans to attain self-determination, and the human rights abuses that ensue from this tension. The main thrust of the organization is to advocate for human rights, religious rights, and environmental rights of the West Papuan, all connected to their struggle for self-determination.
He also told us the story of Herman Wainggai, a West Papuan activist who was imprisoned for his advocacy for self-determination, and who is now a political exile living in the US. It was his meeting with Wainggai in 2018 that inspired Peter to get into human rights work and put up the Human Rights Center. He also shared some practical considerations and tips in starting a movement like this, as well as the obstacles that usually come with it. He ended by stressing how urgent this issue is for West Papuans and the need for more people in the international community to get involved in this struggle.