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PM Gillard should raise West Papua at Bali Democracy Forum

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media relaease 8 November 2012

PM Gillard should raise West Papua at Bali Democracy Forum

AWPA is calling on Julia Gillard to raise the security crackdown on peaceful activists in West Papua with the Indonesian President at the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF).

Prime Minister Gillard is one of the co-chairs at the BDF and she should use the opportunity to press Indonesia into addressing concerns of the ongoing violence in West Papua.

AWPA is also encouraged that the PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he would be bringing the issue of West Papua to the attention of the Indonesian President at the BDF and we encourage PM Gillard to support the PNG Prime Minister in raising the human rights issue in the territory.

Prime Minister Gillard has praised Dr Yudhoyono's efforts in promoting democracy, saying his country's "remarkable democratic transition" should be a lesson for others around the world". However, Joe Collins of AWPA said " there are credible reports of excessive use of force by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua, particularly in the last month with a security crackdown on peaceful activists from the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). It would appear that the Indonesian Government is allowing the security forces to operate with impunity in West Papua".

Joe Collins of AWPA said “given Australia's close relationship with Indonesia, the fact that it is providing training to the Indonesian security forces , the Prime Minister should raise the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President as a priority”.

We also note that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will attend the BDF and hope she will also raise concerns about the human rights situation with the Indonesian President.

ENDS

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