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Statement from the Free West Papua Campaign

Statement from the Free West Papua Campaign

Indonesian Government Remains Silent on West Papua at the UN’s 13th UPR

(London, U.K. 24 May 2012) On May 23rd, the Indonesian government released its annual human rights record for Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Throughout the course of the proceedings, Indonesia failed to make mention of their ongoing human rights abuses to the people of West Papua.

West Papuans have suffered under Indonesia’s military occupation for close to fifty years. West Papuans have been brutalized by occupying Indonesian soldiers and their political freedoms have been suppressed. The act of raising a national West Papuan flag results in a punishment of fifteen years in prison.

Most recently, the Indonesian government arbitrarily convicted five Papuan activists to a sentence of 3 years in prison for expressing their political views at last year’s Third Papuan Congress, a peaceful assembly of indigenous West Papuans. On May 16th, 2012, Brimob (an elite Indonesian police force) shot and wounded four Papuans and killed one other, who were panning for gold.

“There is little mention of the violations in West Papua in the report and there are human rights violations that have been going on in West Papua for the past 50 years”, said Benny Wenda, a West Papuan independence leader who has been imprisoned by Indonesian authorities for his political involvement. “My people are suffering and they are not considered equal citizens”, he further stated.

The situation of human rights in Papua, was raised by the United States, New Zealand, France, and Japan at the review. France expressed concern regarding the treatment of human rights defenders and recommended to Indonesia to allow journalists entry into West Papua. New Zealand made recommendations to implement comprehensive human rights training for all military and police personnel in Papua and West Papua.

“The Indonesian government is committing genocide and they are frightened to bring this up at the UN”, stated Benny Wenda. “It is time for the world to see what Indonesia has been hiding”.


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