Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Media Release: Nationwide petition calls on Government to protect human rights and freedom of expression in West Papua.

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West Papua Action Auckland,
Box 68-419 Auckland
7 July 2016
Media Release: Nationwide petition calls on Government to protect human rights and  freedom of expression in West Papua.
Launched today at a rally outside the Indonesian Embassy in Kelburn marking the killing of an 18 year old student  by security forces. 12. 15 pm outside 70 Glen Rd Kelburn.
Today West Papua solidarity groups launch a formal parliamentary petition calling on the New Zealand Government to do the right thing and speak out about the shocking human rights situation in West Papua. The petition asks Government to support the basic rights of the Papuan people – the rights to freedom of expression and assembly. [1]
In West Papua the situation is at breaking point – young people are being arrested for nothing more than peacefully marching or carrying a placard.  Since May this year, over 3000 have been arrested at peaceful rallies.   Most were released after a few hours but others were held in detention for days and beaten or tortured.  Activists are regularly charged under Indonesia’s outdated treason and incitement laws which carry severe penalties. 
The New Zealand Government remains on the sidelines, this is just not good enough.  West Papua is our neighbour and the people have been suffering  since 1963 when Indonesia took control of the territory.  They are victims of ongoing human rights abuses, killings, torture, beatings, military and police intimidation, and gross neglect of basic services.
We are confident this petition will achieve thousands of written signatures before the end of August and also confident it will lead to Government action. The petition request is modest: it simply asks for fundamental UN guaranteed freedoms to be respected in West Papua.
Find the online version of the petition on here[2].
For further information: 
Maire Leadbeater 09-8159000 or 0274-436-957 
Tere Harrison 021-414-728

[1] The petition calls on the New Zealand Government to condemn the arrest and intimidation of peaceful protestors in West Papua and to challenge the Indonesian Government to uphold the rights of the people of West Papua to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. The petition is also calling for New Zealand to support the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression to visit West Papua. This petition is endorsed by West Papua Action Auckland, Run it Straight collective, West Papua Action Canterbury, Oceania Interrupted, and Youngsolwara Pōneke.

1 comment:

  1. It's scary to think about the implications of the movement, but the situation can't be shelved in storage for much longer! Not when there are people who need to have their rights championed! They deserve a voice.