7 Jul 2009

Papuan separatists call for Indonesian election boycott

3:32 pm on 7 July 2009

Papuan independence activists are calling for a mass boycott of tomorrow's Indonesian presidential election.

The vice-president of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation, Dr Otto Ondawame, says a sign of opposition, Papuans are advised to hold sit-ins and to pray.

During last April's parliamentary elections, Papua had seen large rallies.

But the Indonesian military's crackdown of those protests has prompted activists to change their approach.

They're are also urging Australia to place more pressure on whoever wins the election to end human rights abuses in West Papua.

The New Zealand-based Indonesia Human Rights Committee has also called on regional leaders to raise the Papua issue during next month's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Cairns.