Australia must act on violence in West Papua: Greens
15 Jun 2012 | Richard Di Natale
Australian Greens spokesperson for West Papua, Senator Richard Di Natale, called on the Government to urge Indonesia to put an end to the violence in West Papua.
“We are very concerned by reports of escalating violence in West Papua over the past two weeks,” said Senator Di Natale.
“The Greens are deeply saddened to hear of the killing of Papuan leader, Mako Tabuni, by Indonesian police yesterday. The Greens extend their condolences to Mako Tabuni’s family and solidarity to the people of West Papua whose human and democratic rights continue to be violated.
“We also have reports of a number of shootings over the past two weeks, including that of a visiting German-born man, a primary school teacher and a public servant, and many others without any clear identification of who is committing these crimes. It is vital that justice is brought to those perpetrating violence.”
Conflict between Indonesian security forces and Papuans in the town of Wamena have reportedly led to more than 70 homes being torched by police and indiscriminate gunfire directed at Papuan people, causing at least 2 deaths and leaving at least 11 people with serious injuries. It is reported that hundreds of people have fled into the nearby mountains and jungle.
“The Australian Government must urge Indonesia to end the violence immediately and enter into a peaceful dialogue with the Free West Papua movement.
“It is vital that West Papua is opened up to journalists so that we can gain information about what is happening in this region, only a few hundred kilometres from our Australian border. We must also push for access to be given to much-needed aid organisations so that basic care can be provided to those affected by the conflict.”
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600