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Australia must act after more conflict in West Papua

Media Release

Dr. Richard Di Natale
Greens Senator for Victoria

16/12/11

Australia must act after more conflict in West Papua: Greens

Greens' spokesperson for West Papua, Senator Richard Di Natale, has called for urgent action in response to reports of conflict, deaths and displacement in the Paniai region of West Papua.

"Australia can no longer stand silent while West Papua burns," said Senator Di Natale.

"There are reports of villages being raided and razed by Indonesian forces, which may have been trained and armed by Australia.

"In addition to 15 deaths from shootings, thousands of West Papuans are reportedly displaced and some have died from an outbreak of diarrhoea in an overcrowded refugee care centre.

"The Australian Government must urge Indonesia to end the violence immediately, withdraw all military forces from the region and enter into a peaceful dialogue with the Free West Papua movement.

"We must also push for access to be given to the Red Cross so that much needed aid and care can be given to the Papuans in the region. Opening up the area to journalists and human rights organisations is needed so that we can monitor events like these.

"Australia must consider its military links to Indonesia and suspend all ties while such violence continues.

"We cannot stand idly by while this conflict escalates and human rights are being abused on our doorstop."

ENDS



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