Sunday, March 18, 2018

Media release-No real condemnation of human rights abuses committed by governments in Sydney Declaration

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release 19 March 2018

No real condemnation of human rights abuses committed by governments in Sydney Declaration

For all the talk of about security, terrorism and sharing " a strong commitment to regional peace and security as well as peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, the exercise of self-restraint, without resorting to the threat or use of force in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law”,

there was no condemnation of the human rights abuses committed by governments of the region in  The Sydney Declaration from the ASEAN Summit.

Joe Collins of AWPA said, of concern also is the statement in PM Turnbull’s media release (18 March) that,

"Australia and ASEAN will build greater links between our defence forces through new defence scholarships”.

The Australia military already helps train the Myanmar and Indonesian security forces who commit human rights abuses. The editorial in the Sun-Herald (18 March) said its time to cut ties with the Myanmar military. AWPA also believes its time to stop aiding the Indonesian military who commit abuses against the West Papuan people.

When Australia’s Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, met with Indonesia’s Minister for Defence Ryamizard Ryacudu in Sydney for the annual Indonesia-Australia Defence Ministers’ meeting (17 March), 

did she remember that it was Ryamizard Ryacudu who praised a group of soldiers who had been jailed for killing West Papuan leader Chief Theys Eluay as heroes? He said at the time, “I don’t know, people say they did wrong, they broke the law. What law? OK, we are a state based on the rule of law, so they have been punished. But for me, they are heroes because the person they killed was a rebel leader.”

Congratulations to the local civil society groups who came out to protest about the human rights abuses being committed in the region and also to the media who reported on the issues of concern.

Hyde Park March 17

Town Hall Sydney 17 March


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