Thursday, February 25, 2016

1) West Papua Action Auckland letter to Hon Murray McCully

2) Four new orchid species discovered during Lengpuru 2014 expedition, West Papua, Indonesia

1) West Papua Action Auckland letter to Hon Murray McCully

West Papua Action Auckland
Box 68-419
25 February 2016
Fax 04 817 6510
Hon Murray McCully,
Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Parliament Buildings,
Dear Mr McCully,
We are very concerned about the harassment and threats being experienced by West Papuan representatives from the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and other activists in the highland town of Wamena.  
On 15 February 2016 5000 people attended a ceremony inaugurating a new office for the ULMWP. In clear breach of the right to free expression, this peaceful event was met with a severe response from the Indonesian security forces, who removed the ULMWP sign from the building.  We understand that two organisers of the event were detained and that others have been questioned. The Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, Luhut Pandjaitan has also told the ULMWP to leave the country as it could pose a threat to the country’s territorial integrity.
 A Catholic priest Father John Djonga has been issued with a summons to present himself to the police because he led a prayer service on 15 February  before the inauguration of the new office and the unveiling of the  banner of the ULMWP.  It is reported that he may face treason charges.
In the past, other activists have been harassed when they attempted to show their support for the ULMWP and the MSG decision to include its representatives as observers.
The people of West Papua have the right to freely express their opinions including their political aspirations.   How can there be a peaceful path forward for the Papuan people unless these basic rights are respected?  
We urge you to express concern to the Indonesian authorities about the intimidation of peaceful human rights activists. 
As you know a request for a fact-finding mission to visit West Papua has been lodged with the Indonesian authorities in line with the resolution passed at the 2015 Pacific Island Forum.  This request was a reflection of the concerns of Pacific peoples and their governments about the human rights situation in West Papua.  We urge you to  take up this request with the Indonesian authorities and urge them to facilitate the mission as soon as possible.
Yours sincerely,
Maire Leadbetter  ( West Papua Action Auckland)
2) Four new orchid species discovered during Lengpuru 2014 expedition, West Papua, Indonesia

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