Greens to flag West Papuan human rights abuses during Indonesian President’s visit
Greens Leader Adam Bandt will join former Greens Leader Richard Di Natale in wearing a West Papuan lapel flag during the address of Indonesian President Widodo to the Australian Parliament on Monday. West Papuan human rights advocate Ronny Kareni will also be a guest of Senator Di Natale at the address. Mr Kareni is a member of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and is a longstanding campaigner for West Papuan human rights.
Greens Leader Adam Bandt said: “I hope the Prime Minister has the gumption to raise the situation in West Papua with President Widodo. There are big opportunities for Australia to develop our economic relationship with Indonesia, including exporting our clean renewable energy to one of the biggest energy markets in the world, but our relationship should not come at expense of our support for human rights.”
Senator Di Natale said: “Indonesian authorities have engaged in an unprecedented crackdown in West Papua following protests against racism and in favour of self-determination last year. More than 50 people have died as a result of the protests, and there are at least 22 people who have been locked up in prison and are regarded as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to raise Australia’s deep concerns. He must call on Mr Widodo to allow unfettered access to West Papua for UN officials and foreign journalists, and to drop charges against political prisoners. To stay silent is to condone these abuses.”