The indigenous people of West Papua, a province of Indonesia, are under constant assault. West Papuans have seen their lands occupied by the Indonesian military presence and despoiled by the American mining company Freeport-McMoRan. With that company exploiting the region for copper and gold, things might seem hopeless for the indigenous people of West Papua. Thankfully, they have Bambang Widjojanto working tirelessly on their behalf.
Widjojanto is the co-founder and former director of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, which has more than 100 lawyers on its roster. As a human rights attorney and advocate, he has defended victims of torture, women’s rights, and labor organizations, all with a special focus on the indigenous West Papuans who have suffered the most. In 2012, he was named Deputy Chief of Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission, which investigated corruption and illegal practices by companies such as PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia.