Thursday, June 6, 2013

Media release Letter to Aust Dept of Foreign Affairs re West Papua


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

Media release 7 June  2013

Another crackdown in West Papua?

AWPA has written to Sen Carr about the possibility of another crackdown by the security forces on rallies  called by the  
West Papua National Committee (KNPB) for the 10 June .  

Joe Collins of AWPA said,  at the rallies held in May,  three people were killed and up to 20 arrested  on the 1 May and at the rally on the 13 May a number of people were arrested including Victor YeimoChairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). Peaceful protest plays an important part in the political life of many countries including our own and the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression should be viewed as a sign of a health democracy. 

We are urging Sen Carr to use his  good offices with the Indonesian Government urging that they control the security forces in West Papua and not to crackdown on peaceful demonstrators who are simply expressing their democratic rights

Lettter to Sen Carr below.
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AWPA letter to Sen Carr
Senator the Hon Bob Carr

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Parliament House,
Canberra 
ACT 2600



7 June 2013

Dear Senator Carr,

I am writing to you on behalf of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney concerning the call by the West Papua National Committee for peaceful rallies to take place in a number of towns in West Papua on Monday 10 June. We are concerned that, as occurred at the rallies held on the 1 and 13 May, the security forces will again crackdown on the West Papuan people at the upcoming rally.

As you are aware three people were killed and up to 20 arrested during the rallies on the 1 May and at the rally on the 13 May a number of people were arrested including Victor YeimoChairman of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

We note that during the recent Senate Estimates hearings you pointed out that the Australian Government does raise the issue of the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesia Government. We now ask you to use your good offices with the Indonesian Government urging that they control the security forces in West Papua and not to crackdown on peaceful demonstrators who are simply expressing their democratic rights

Peaceful protest plays an important part in the political life of many countries including our own and the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression should be viewed as a sign of a health democracy.

We point out that Amnesty International in its annual report for 2013, in relation to West Papua stated that
 “Indonesian security forces, including police and military personnel, were accused of human rights violations in Papua. Torture and other ill treatment, excessive use of force and firearms and possible unlawful killings were reported. In most cases, the perpetrators were not brought to justice and victims did not receive reparations”.

The U.S. Department of State's Annual Country Reports on Human Rights for 2012 was also recently released and in its executive summary on its Indonesian country report states,
“The suppression or abridgement of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities was a problem. The government applied treason and blasphemy laws to limit freedom of expression by peaceful independence advocates in the provinces of Papua, West Papua, and Maluku and by religious minority groups. Official corruption, including within the judiciary, was a major problem”.
We urge you to raise our concerns with the Indonesian Government

Yours sincerely
Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney) 


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