The Australian Greens call on the Government to urge Indonesia to put an end to the violence in West Papua, and commend journalists from the ABC’s 7.30 program who entered the region undercover recently. Their work shines a spotlight on the ongoing abuses of human and democratic rights that are occurring in West Papua, only some 200km to the north of Australia.
“The Australian Government has known full well for some time of the atrocities going on in West Papua, but has chosen to turn a blind eye,” Australian Greens Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said.
“The ABC exposé means Minister Carr no longer has any excuse not to pick up the phone to his Indonesian counterpart and get some answers about what dialogue Indonesian government is having with West Papuan representatives.”
“Along with many Australians, I am very alarmed by the bloodshed of recent months, which adds to the fear experienced by the West Papuan people over many decades of Indonesian rule over their lands,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens spokesperson for West Papua.
“The 7.30 program has managed to gather important coverage of the current situation there, despite considerable restrictions on journalists entering the region. It is crucial that journalists and human rights monitors are allowed access to West Papua.
“Australians are now becoming more aware of these atrocities being committed on their doorstep. They know what happened in East Timor under Indonesian rule and they know that we, as a nation, cannot sit idly by while it occurs again in West Papua.
“The Greens call on Foreign Minister Bob Carr to advocate for a new dialogue between the Indonesian government and representatives of the Papuan people. The indigenous people of West Papua should have the opportunity to decide democratically their own future in accordance with international standards of human rights and the principles of international law.”
“West Papua is a chance for Australia to show real leadership. It is a chance for us to show that we will stand up for the values of peace and democracy we so readily espouse.”
The Greens will introduce a Senate motion during the next sitting period that will call of Minister Carr to raise concerns over human rights abuses with the Indonesian Foreign Minister and request access for human rights monitors and foreign journalists.
The Greens have called on the Australian government to consider its military links to Indonesia and suspend all ties while violence continues, attributed to Indonesian security forces acting with impunity. We cannot stand idly by while this conflict escalates and human rights are being abused on our doorstop.
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600