Sunday, October 12, 2014

Media release -Rallies in West Papua called for the 13 October banned by the security forces



Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release 12 October 2014

 Rallies  in West Papua called for the 13 October banned by the security forces

AWPA has written to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop concerning the banning of rallies in West Papua called for the 13 October (Letter below).

The purposes of the rallies are to call on the Indonesian government to free the two French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena and remain detained in Jayapura. They could face up to five years in prison

Joe Collins said "AWPA is concerned that there may be a crackdown on any rallies that are held by the civil society groups as the police have refused to give a permit to allow the rallies to go ahead. They police claim that the organisations are not correctly registered in West Papua and demonstrators may use the symbol of the Morning Star flag on banners or posters which is banned by Indonesia. In the past year the security forces have regularly cracked down on peaceful demonstrators in the territory beating and arresting many".
"We are urging the Foreign Minister to raise our concerns with the Indonesian Government, President Yudhoyono  and President-elect Joko Widodo asking   that they inform the authorities in the territory that peaceful  rallies are a  democratic right and should be allowed to go ahead without interference by the security forces".  

ends

Note.
A google translate of a posting on face book (12 Oct)  indicating a show of force by the military to intimidate people that might take part in rallies.Be- aware google translates can be a bit erratic.

KNPBNews-Merauke, 10/12/14. Ahead of the H-1 KNPB peaceful action. The joint military military (Marines, Army, Air Force) Police (Brimob, Detachment 88) large convoy - the amount of Merauke around town then at 17:30 WPB. KNPB passes right in front of the secretariat and the office of the Regional Parliament Merauke region. Earlier on at: 16:37:45. Chairman KNPB Merauke region, sir. Gento. Terror gets an SMS that says: hello good afternoon revolution, there Gento om reports, Army and police gathered at the office of the police and there would assault the KNPB Secretariat. Similarly, the latest info.
Bahasa version
KNPBNews-Merauke, 12/10/14. Jelang H-1 aksi damai KNPB. Militer gabungan TNI (marinir, TNI Angkatan Darat, Angkatan Udara) POLRI (BRIMOB, Densus 88) melakukan konvoi besar - besaran keliling kota Merauke kemudian pada pukul 17:30 WPB. Melewati tepat didepan sekretariat KNPB & kantor Parlemen Rakyat Daerah Wilayah Merauke. Sebelumnya pada pukul : 16:37:45. Ketua KNPB Wilayah Merauke, tuan. Gento. Mendapat SMS Teror yang bunyinya: selamat sore salam revolusi, om gento ada laporan, Tentara & polisi ada kumpul dikantor polisi & mau serbu sekretariat KNPB. Demikian info terkini.
ends

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Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Foreign Minister
House of Representatives

Parliament House


Canberra  ACT 2600

12 October 2014

Dear Foreign Minister,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney concerning peaceful rallies that are planned by civil society groups and in particular by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) for tomorrow 13 October through out West Papua. The purposes of the rallies are to call on the Indonesian government to free the two French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena and remain detained in Jayapura. They could face up to five years in prison. Their case has now been handed over to Papua's chief prosecutor and it was reported that it will go to court within seven days.
AWPA would also like to thank you for your support for the Senate motion concerning the French Journalists moved by Senator Richard Di Natale on the 1 October.

However, AWPA is concerned that there may be a crackdown on any rallies that are held by the civil society groups as the police have refused to give a permit to allow the rallies to go ahead. They police claim that the organisations are not correctly registered in West Papua and demonstrators may use the symbol of the Morning Star flag on banners or posters which is banned by Indonesia.
In the past year the security forces have regularly cracked down on peaceful demonstrators in the territory beating and arresting many.  Papuans behind bars reported that at the end of September 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails. It also noted that reports of attacks against lawyers in Papua indicate that the situation is becoming worse for those involved in human rights work. 
We urge you to raise our concerns with the Indonesian Government, President Yudhoyono  and President-elect Joko Widodo asking   that they inform the authorities in the territory that planned rallies are a democratic right and should be allowed to go ahead without interference by the security forces.  

Yours sincerely
 Joe Collins 
AWPA (Sydney)
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