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A One Day Conference - West Papua Update

A One Day Conference - West Papua Update

Media release

Two videos that have circulated widely and cannot be ignored show the brutal tortures that Indonesian soldiers use to terrorise Papuan civilians. The court sentenced some of the soldiers who appeared on the video to a few months in prison. Meanwhile the Indonesian government did not take any action to investigate another video containing a horrific crime, a Papuan farmer, Mr Tunaliwor Kiwo, was shown being brutally tortured by the Indonesian Army. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard was in Indonesia when this video got international attention.

Budi Hernawan who has worked more than 13 years as a human rights worker in Papua argues the military court did not address the case as a crime, but as a matter of military procedure. He elaborates that there is no court in Indonesia to address cases of torture, neither military nor civilian courts. Yet Indonesia has already ratified the Convention Again Torture (CAT) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Rusdi Marpaung from Imparsial (a human rights NGO focus on Security Sector Reform) asks the Australian government that any security cooperation between Australia and Indonesia should respect human rights principles and democratic values, and that Detachment 88 (the Australian government has funded this anti terror unit) has been implicated in human rights abuses. He also elaborates that joint military exercises with Kopassus should be re-evaluated, the Kopassus has not been reformed.

During President Yudhoyono’visit to West Papua from 21st to 22nd November, nine Papuans were arrested by the police because they raised their Morning Star flag. President Yudhoyono has criminalised any symbol of separatism such as Morning Star Flag, and many Papuan are in prison because of this peaceful ‘crime’.

Mr Hernawan and Mr Marpaung will speak at a one day conference on the West Papua Update at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Mackie Bldg, Room 114, Arundel St, Forest Lodge the University of Sydney on Monday 29thNovember 2010 from 10.30am until 4.00pm

ENDS

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