Media Release 24 Oct 2012
AWPA letter to Sen Carr re the deteriorating situation in West Papua.
AWPA has written to Sen Bob Carr concerning the deteriorating situation in West Papua AWPA believes there is a danger that the situation could deteriorate even further and are calling on Sen Carr to immediately raise the situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President and as Australia ohas gained a seat on the UN Security Council we also urge Australia to raise the human rights situation in West Papua at the UN.
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)
PO Box 28, Spit Junction, Sydney, Australia 2088
Senator the Hon Bob Carr
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House, Canberra
24 October 2012
Dear Senator Carr,
Further to my letter of the 17 October, I am sending additional information about the deteriorating situation in West Papua. On the 23rd of October the security forces cracked down on peaceful rallies which were called by the West Papua National Committee (KNPB). The peaceful rallies were held in a number of towns throughout West Papua including in Timika, Sorong, Biak, Merauke and Jayapura. The rallies were organised to draw attention to the UN the human rights abuses suffered by the West Papuan people.
Reports indicate that the security forces consisting of Police, TNI, Koppassus, Detachment 88 and BIN responded violentialy to the peaceful demonstrations. In Manokwari the security forces fired rubber bullets at students injuring at least eight. A Local reporter and activist Oktovianus Pogau who was covering the rally said he was beaten badly by five policemen when he tried to present his press card. "They punched me twice in the face and tried to strangle me. They hit other journalists and I saw at least two people get shot," he reported.
A number of people have also been detained and there are fears for their safety in custody. There is a danger that the situation could deteriorate even further and we call on you to immediately raise the situation in West Papua with the Indonesian President. We congratulate Australia on gaining a seat on the UN Security Council and also urge you to raise the human rights situation in West Papua at the UN.
CC. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Jakarta
Australian Embassy Jakarta