Sharp Increase in International Concern About Human Rights in West Papua

Sharp Increase in International Concern About Human Rights in West Papua

Sharp Increase in International Concern About Human Rights in West Papua Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, News, Switzerland, West Papua
May 24, 2012

Source: Tapol – London, 23 May 2012

Indonesia’s human rights record reviewed at UN Human Rights Council

Today, Indonesia’s human rights record was reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council during the 13th session of the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland. Concerns about human rights in Papua increased sharply since the last review in 2008, with a significant number of member states raising concerns about freedom of expression, human rights defenders and political prisoners in the region.

Paul Barber, Coordinator of TAPOL, said:

“While Indonesia today said it is using a ‘welfare and development’ approach in Papua, the continued presence of thousands of troops and dozens of political prisoners suggests otherwise.”

TAPOL and United for Truth (Bersatu Untuk Keadilan, BUK) submitted a report to the review process, making recommendations to improve the human rights situation in Papua by ending the stigmatisation of peaceful political activity, repealing repressive legislation and releasing political prisoners.

Concerns raised by TAPOL based on inputs from local NGOs were picked up by a number of Member States during the review.

Switzerland and Mexico were among those States questioning Indonesia’s worrying human rights record in Papua, joined by regional neighbours New Zealand and Japan. The United States called for action on Indonesia’s repressive treason laws, backed by Canada and Germany who further called for the release of peaceful political prisoners.

While Indonesia today announced that it intends to issue an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Mr Frank La Rue, it was unclear whether he would be guaranteed free access to the Papua provinces.

Restrictions on access for foreign media and civil society were challenged by a number of States including France and Australia, while Germany called for immediate access for the ICRC, who were ejected from Papua in 2010.

Barber noted:

“The international community has today sent a clear message to Indonesia that the human rights situation in Papua is totally unacceptable.”

“With increasing regional and international engagement on the issue, the pressure is on for Indonesia to provide a meaningful response.”


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  1. Banned on foreign media and NGO clearly indicates that it’s systematic actions in West Papua on military brutalty, environmental destruction and lack of freedom of political views speaks louder than it’s words of maintaining Indonesia’s greater diversity and democracy. The truth will reveal itself one day and Jakarta will be held accountable of it’s actions. The world is watching right now!!!

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