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

 


AWPA letter to Sen Carr

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088

Senator the Hon Bob Carr
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House, Canberra
ACT 2600

25 February 2013

Dear Senator Carr,

I am writing to you concerning the latest incidents in West Papua. A number of soldiers and civilians were killed last Thursday when they were ambushed by unknown gunmen. We are concerned that the Indonesian military may target local people in the areas where the ambushes took place during security operations in the hunt for the perpetrators of the attacks.

You may remember the tragic events that occurred last June when the Indonesian security forces ran amok attacking the village of Honai Lama in Wamena in the Baliem Valley. During that attack a number of people were killed and wounded and a large number of houses destroyed. The attack on the village was sparked by a road accident in which a child was knocked down while he was playing by the side of the road by two soldiers on motorbikes from Kostrad, the Indonesian Army's strategic reserve. The villagers turned on the soldiers and in the melee that followed the soldiers were dragged from their motorcycles and one died after allegedly being stabbed. The revenge attack on the local villagers shows how unprofessional and undisciplined the Indonesian military can be.

AWPA is concerned that the military made take revenge on the local people because of the death of the soldiers in the recent incidents. We are concerned by statements by the Indonesia`s Deputy Minister of Defense Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin who said the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) will take a firm stand by conducting tactical action against the armed groups that killed eight military officers and five civilians in Papua on Thursday (Feb 21). "The tactical action includes to chase, apprehend and destroy," the deputy minister said here on Friday. (Antara News report). Statements such as this create fear in the West Papuan people who are well aware what sweeping operations against so call separatists mean.

AWPA calls on the Australian Government to use its good offices with the Indonesian Government to call for the halt to any (or proposed) military operations in West Papua as a way of avoiding further escalation of the situation and avoiding further bloodshed.

Torture allegations
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released a report regarding the torture of twenty prisoners at the Abepura Correctional Facility, Papua, on 21 January 2013. Information gathered by local activists reveals that the torture was conducted by three prison guards with the acquiescence of the head of the prison. The victims were beaten with bare hands as well as whipped with thick wire until some parts of their bodies were bleeding. Despite the injuries suffered the prison guards did not give any medical treatment to the tortured prisoners.

The AHRC also reported on the arbitrary arrest and torture of seven Papuans which took place on 15 February 2013. The victims were driving home in two cars when the police stopped them as they were looking for two pro-independence activists. The victims were later brought to the police station where they were further questioned on the whereabouts of the activists. They were severely beaten, kicked and electrocuted before five of them were released without charge the next day. However two of the victims still remain in police custody. They are being charged with possession of bladed articles which is totally unrelated with the police's initial unreasonable allegation.

Indonesia is a state party to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the right not to be tortured is guaranteed under the 1945 Constitution.

We urge you to raise these grave matters of torture with the Indonesian President urging him to see that the victims are granted adequate medical treatment so their injuries are treated and that the torture allegations are impartially and effectively investigated and those responsible for it are charged according to law.

Yours sincerely

Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney)

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news