17 Sep 2005

Lift travel restrictions in Papua, US Congress members tell Indonesia

8:39 am on 17 September 2005

35 members of the US Congress have called on Indonesia to lift travel restrictions to the province of Papua.

A bipartisan group of the House of Representatives has signed a letter addressed to the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

It says they are aware that operations in the Papua highlands have resulted in numerous human rights violations since August 2004, despite efforts to impede access by international journalists and human rights and humanitarian workers.

The group says the system, which requires travellers to report their own movement to local intelligence agencies, is contrary to the freedom of movement that they say is essential to a functional democracy.