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


AWPA: West Papuan Activists Needs Protection

The Hon Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
ACT 2600

2 November 2009

Re: West Papuan political activists Yoab Syatfle and Victor Yeimo

Dear Stephen Smith,

I am writing to you concerning Yoab Syatfle, a political activist in West Papua because of concern for his safety.

Yoab Syatfle has received a number of death threats which were sent by SMS to his mobile phone and apparently related to his peaceful political activities. We are concerned that his life may be in danger.

We believe that Yoab Syatfle has been targeted because he is a prominent peaceful political activist in Papua. He is the Sorong Secretary of the Papua Traditional Council (Dewan Adat Papua) which represents Indigenous communities in Papua. He is also Secretary of the Papua National Consensus Team, a non-violent group campaigning for a peaceful internationally mediated solution to the political problems in Papua.

On 26 October, Yoab Syatfle received a number of anonymous SMS messages threatening that he would be abducted and killed if he left his house. One of them warned: “you are one of the people we are looking for, we remember you, if you leave your house yard one more time, you will be killed”.

We are also concerned about another West Papuan political activist , Victor Yeimo who was arrested on the 21st October in the Mansapurani Sentani hotel in Jayapura during a police operation called Pekat, which began on the same day, 21 October. We believe he was arrested solely because he helped organise a number of peaceful demonstrations earlier this year.

Victor Yeimo has always advocated a peaceful solution to West Papua's future. We believe that the targeting of peaceful political activists by the security forces in West Papua is a deliberate campaign to create fear and stifle discussion of the many issues of concern to the West Papuan people.

These include the human rights situation in the territory, the exploitation of their natural resources and the right to discuss their future The right to free expression, opinion and assembly is guaranteed under the Indonesian Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the country is a state party.

We request you to use your good offices to urge the Indonesian Government to take immediate action to ensure the safety of Yoab Syatfle, and to hold an immediate, effective and impartial investigation into the threats he has received with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice. to protect peaceful activists from harassment to allow human rights organisations in West Papua to work without interference from the security forces. to release Victor Yeimo and all other West Papuan political prisoners as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people. Yours sincerely Joe Collins Secretary AWPA (Sydney)


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Tigray: Eritrean Refugees ‘scared And Struggling To Eat’ Amid Aid Obstacles
For the first time in weeks, aid teams have reached refugee camps in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, only to find that some Eritrean nationals living there have likely died of preventable diseases, while others are “scared and struggling to get enough to eat”, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on Friday...

UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>

Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>