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Two Key Speakers Lined Up For Human Rights Seminar

Two Key Speakers Lined Up For Human Rights Seminar

AUCKLAND (AUT Journalism/Pacific Media Watch): A West Papua Baptist church leader and an Australian-based human rights campaigner have been confirmed as key spokespeople to address an international conference on the Indonesian-ruled Pacific territory next month.

Organiser Maire Leadbeater, of the Indonesian Human Rights Committee, told Te Waha Nui Online that Socratez Sofyan Yoman, president of the Communion of Baptist Churches in West Papua, and John Wing, coordinator of the West Papua Project at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and co-author of the report Genocide in West Papua had confirmed they would speak at the two-day seminar.

The seminar will be held at AUT University conference centre on August 18-19.

“The seminar programme is already attracting considerable interest and will include workshops on human rights issues, West Papuan history, environmental threats and a politicians’ forum,” Leadbeater says.

“The much admired documentary film, Land of the Morning Star, will be screened. The seminar is open to all comers.”

In the past eight years, Rev Yoman has taken an increasingly high profile as a campaigner for peace, justice and human rights in West Papua.

He has briefed Australian, British and European parliamentarians as well as United Nations representatives about West Papua.

Rev Yoman has written five books about West Papua, including Papuans Are Not Separatists and Gate to Free Papua.

John Wing has been involved with human rights issues in Indonesia for 20 years.

He was appointed coordinator of the West Papua Project at the
University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in 2003.

His “genocide” report last year on the current human rights, environmental, political and social situation in Papua has stirred controversy and been a key reference for governments and parliamentarians.

Wing is keen to deliver alternative sources of electricity - such as solar and micro hydro power - to remote areas of Papua. He also hopes to provide cheap, simple lighting to homes and refrigeration for clinics.



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