The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
Media release 16 July 2012
AWPA calls on the Foreign Minister Bob Carr to raise concerns about Detachment 88 on his visit to Indonesia
The Foreign Minister Bob Carr is visiting Indonesia and we are encouraged by his statement to the media that “he will not be silent on the issue of human rights in Papua”.
In a doorstop interview with the media Senator Carr said " We recognise Indonesian sovereignty in the Papuan provinces but at the same time we have a dialogue with Indonesia with what they do in response to any unrest in those provinces".
Joe Collins of AWPA said "we are encouraged by Senator Carr's statement concerning human rights and we would in particular like him to raise concerns about the use of Detachment 88 in West Papua. Detachment 88 has been involved in a number of incidents in the territory and a number of media reports indicate they were involved in the killing of Mako Tabuni last month.
A New Matilda investigation reported that
“activists in West Papua claim Detachment 88 is being deployed to hunt down not only armed resistance fighters, but also civilians with ties to the independence movement, in what appears to be a growing campaign of intimidation”.
We are greatly concerned that human right defenders in West Papua are at risk and urge Senator Carr to raise these concerns with the Indonesian Government during his visit. The Australian Government helps fund Detachment 88 and in fact Australian taxpayers
We call on the Australian government to immediately halt the funding of Detachment 88, to investigate the claims of its misconduct and to apologise to the Papuan people if they are proven to be true.