30 Jul 2004

Forum asked to investigate rights abuses in Papua

7:19 am on 30 July 2004

The Indonesian Human Rights Group is calling on the Pacific Islands Forum to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the Indonesian province of Papua.

The spokeperson for the New Zealand-based organisation, Maire Leadbeater, says her group has written to the 16 Forum leaders to request a fact-finding mission to the province.

She says it is waiting for a response.

The group has also asked for Papua to be included as an observer in the Forum.

Observer status may be extended to French Polynesia at next week's summit in Apia, and Miss Leadbeater says it would be inconsistent to leave Papua out.

"In previous years they have expressed their concern about the human rights abuses taking place in West Papua but that's kind of about where it has ended."

I think that they need to do much since we are talking about a Pacific country, a Melanesian nation. If the Pacific Islands Forum countries don't take on a neighbourly concern for the terrible things that are happening in West Papua, who will?