West Papua: Greens deeply concerned by Jayapura 5 verdict
16 Mar 2012 | Richard Di Natale
The Australian Greens are deeply concerned about the verdict handed down to the Jayapura 5, five West Papuan leaders arrested following the Third People’s Congress in October last year, who were today sentenced to three years imprisonment for their involvement in pro-independence statements made at the Congress.
"The Congress was a peaceful event, until the intervention of security forces at its conclusion, and the Papuan people had a right to assemble and discuss their future," said Greens West Papua spokesperson, Senator Richard Di Natale, from the Australian Parliament today.
"To meet without threat of violence or oppression is a fundamental human right that all citizens enjoy. These people are not violent criminals, but leaders of a community that has mounted a long but peaceful struggle for basic human rights.”
The five men are:
• Forkorus Yaboisembut
• Edison Waromi
• Selpius Bobii
• August Sananay Kraar
• Dominikus Sorabut
These five people join many other West Papuans who have been imprisoned in Indonesia for acts such as raising the Morning Star flag and advocating for West Papuan self-determination.
It is time for the Australian Government to take a tough stand on behalf of human rights in West Papua. Senator Di Natale has urged Foreign Minister Bob Carr to raise the concerns of many Australians about the situation in West Papua, where basic freedoms of expression are not being upheld.