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West Papua Situation must be raised by Australian ministers

April 2013

Situation in West Papua should be raised by Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr and Defence Minister Stephen Smith are visiting Indonesia this week for regular ministerial talks. Although DFAT has said it raises concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua in recent replies to AWPA's letters we hope Sen Carr will again raise the situation in West Papua with his counterpart in Indonesia. In the past month there were a number of urgent actions released by the Asian Human Rights Commission concerning incidents of arrests and torture of Papuans including of a pregnant women and a 18 month old baby.

AWPA also hopes that our Defence Minister Stephen Smith will raise concerns about the actions of the security forces in West Papua and in particular about any members of Detachment 88 who have been trained by Australia that have been involved in security operations in West Papua, which is outside their brief.

We also hope they will request permission from the Indonesian Government to allow a cross-party parliamentary fact finding mission to West Papua to not only investigate the human rights situation in the territory but to see how Australia can help the West Papuan people in capacity building in the fields of health and education.

ENDS

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