Thursday, December 7, 2017

Media release . International Human Rights Day - West Papua

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) 

8 December 2017

 Media release . International Human Rights Day - West Papua

As International Human Rights Day approaches (10 December), The Indonesian Minister of Defense Ryamizard Ryacudu called for West Papuan delegates who attended the ULMWP Summit in Port Vila to be arrested on their return to West Papua.

 The theme of this years Human Rights Day is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the two International Covenants on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both which were adopted by the UN General Assembly on the 16th of December, 1966. 

Joe Collins of AWPA said “Indonesia claims to be a democracy yet as the world prepares to celebrate human rights day, Indonesia intimidates peaceful West Papuan activists ignoring a number of articles in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” 

Article 19
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. 
 2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice. 

Collins of AWPA said," Indonesia is obviously becoming greatly concerned at the internationalization of the issue of West Papua and is trying to intimidate West Papuan activists to not attend or hold meetings where the issue of West Papua could be raised at international fora.

                                                                             March in Port Vila 1st December

There were also a number arrests in West Papua in Merauke, Nabire and in Salatiga as activists prepared to celebrate West Papuan national flag day.

Local media Jubi reported that dozens of KNPB members and sympathizers were arrested by Merauke, 3 KNPB members arrested in Nabire   and up to 30 Papua Student Alliance (AMP) activists were arrested in Salatiga City, Central Java by the police, just before dawn on the 1st December 
                   Dozens of KNPB members and sympathizers arrested and taken to Merauke Police – Jubi / Frans L Kobun
                    Jubi 4 Dec 2017

Collins of AWPA said “ as Australia prepares to take up its position on the UN Human Rights Council for a three-year term, its time the Government stopped ignoring the human rights abuses in West Papua and starting raising concerns about the arrest and intimidation of peaceful West Papuan activists with the Indonesian government. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop   should reflect on what Eleanor Roosevelt said in relation to human rights.

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. [...] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world." -- Eleanor Roosevelt 

                                                Rally outside Indonesian Consulate Sydney on the 1st December


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