World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Amnesty: Threat of violence mounts in Papua

Indonesia: Amnesty International calls for restraint as threat of violence mounts in Papua

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

30 November 2000
ASA 21/071/2000
227/00

Amnesty International today warned that the risk of violence was mounting across Papua (Irian Jaya) on the eve of 1st December pro-independence demonstrations in the province.

"Any moves by the security forces to use excessive force, including bullets and beatings, to break up protests tomorrow risks inflaming an already tense situation," Amnesty International said. "Restraint must be the watchword of the day,"

The authorities have increased their military presence in the region over recent months, heightening fears that attempts to hold pro-independence demonstrations, in particular flag-raising ceremonies, will be met with a military crackdown. In an apparent show of force, a convoy of military and police personnel reportedly moved through the Papuan capital, Jayapura today, heightening a sense of fear among local residents.

Tensions have also increased this week with the arrest of three members of the pro-independence Papuan Presidium Council, a local pro-independence body. The three have reportedly been detained on suspicion of subversion. It is unclear whether or not they have been charged. There are fears that these arrests mark a further step in a campaign to silence the expression of pro-independence sentiment in Papua.

Both pro-independence and pro-integration militia groups are believed to be active in the region, armed with bows and arrows and other traditional weapons. Some pro-independence militia members have reportedly vowed to fight back if there is a crackdown by the security forces tomorrow. It is feared that any outbreak of violence could lead to further human rights abuses.

The demonstrations planned for tomorrow follow similar protests over recent years in Papua, in particular ceremonies involving the raising of a Papuan flag, a popular form of protest. The frequently heavy-handed response of the security forces to such demonstrations has been marked by serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings, torture and arbitrary detentions.

"Such an approach bears the hallmarks of the policies of the past," Amnesty International said."Peaceful dialogue based on respect for fundamental human rights must form the foundations of any future settlement to Papua's disputed political status."

****************************************************************

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

****************************************************************


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>

ALSO:

Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>

ALSO:

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO: