Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Media Release 2 May 2013 AWPA letter to Aust Foreign Minister re deaths/arrests in West Papua on the 1st May


Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088


Media Release 2 May 2013

AWPA letter to Aust Foreign Minister re deaths/arrests in West Papua on the 1st May

AWPA's letter to the Australian Foreign Minister re the events that occurred on the 1 May. AWPA is urging the Foreign Minister to raise the matter of the deaths of the demonstrators and the crackdown on the peaceful rallies by the security forces with the Indonesian Government. We are also urging him  to call for the release of all those arrested simply for taking part in rally which is their democratic right.

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Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

Senator the Hon Bob Carr

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Parliament House,
Canberra

ACT 2600



2 May 2013

Dear Senator Carr,
I am writing to you concerning the events that occurred in West Papua on the 1 May. 
To commemorate the 50 years since the hand over of Dutch New Guinea by UNTEA to Indonesian administration, civil society organisations in West Papua held a number of rallies throughout West Papua to commemorate this tragic event in their history. Rallies were held in the towns of Sorong, Biak, Fakfak , Timika and Jayapura.

Unfortunately there was a crackdown by the security forces on the peaceful demonstrators and first reports from civil society groups in West Papua indicate that two people were killed and three seriously wounded in the town of Sorong.

In Timika Fifteenth people were arrested for simply raising their national flag, The Morning Star.

In the town of Fakfak, the police hauled down the Morning Star flag which had been raised in a local school. Local people were intimidated by the security forces during these rallies.

AWPA is concerned for those arrested as it is not uncommon for people to be tortured in West Papuan prisons. We urge you to raise the matter of the deaths of the demonstrators and the crackdown on the peaceful rallies by the security forces with the Indonesian Government. We also urge you to call for the release of all those arrested simply for taking part in rally which is their democratic right.

Yours sincerely
Joe Collins
AWPA (Sydney) 

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