West Papua: Death threat to human rights defenders
The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release 12 November 2010
AWPA calls on PM to raise concerns about death threat to human rights defenders with Indonesian President
AWPA is calling on Julia Gillard to raise the threat to human rights defenders in West Papua with President Yudhoyono. Joe Collins of AWPA said both Julia Gillard and President Obama had just been in Jakarta and neither raised concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President although they knew about the video footage of the torture of Papuans which caused outrage around the world.
Joe Collins said "they seem to want to treat the video evidence as if it is an isolated incident but in further evidence of human rights abuses the most recent leaked document shows a list of West Papuans engaged in human rights work are a target of the Indonesian Special Force Group, Kopassus, which holds military exercises with the Australian military".
The leaked document shows a list of West Papuans who are supposed to be involved with so called separatists. The list includes members of civil society organisations, church groups , activists, students and members of the Papua People Assembly (MRP).
Joe Collins said " there is a systematic campaign to intimidate both human rights defenders and the West Papuan peoples a whole . It is well known the the Military regularly conduct military operations in the highlands and evidence has come to light of the recent burning of the village of Bigiragi in the Puncak Jaya Regency. These operations leave the local people traumatized and in fear for their lives. If the Australian Government really believes that progress is being made in Indonesia to improve human rights, why don't they send a fact finding mission to West Papua and listen to what the West Papuan people have to say."