25 Feb 2010

West Papuan rights lawyer calls for peaceful dialogue with Jakarta

11:48 am on 25 February 2010

A prominent West Papuan human rights lawyer is using a speaking tour of Australia to promote the need for a peaceful solution to problems in Indonesia's troubled Papua region.

Yan Christian Warinussy, who is the winner of Canada's John Humphrey Freedom Award in 2005 for his promotion of human rights and democracy, says the rights situation in Papua has been left to deteriorate far too long.

The Manokwari-based lawyer says the Special Autonomy status granted to Papua by Indonesia in 2001 has proven a failure while the heavy militarisation of the region has worsened the security situation.

Mr Warinussy says dialogue between Jakarta and Papuan representatives must take place.

"The human rights situation in West Papua is not good until now. The Special Autonomy, we cannot use that to solve the problem. We need to make peaceful dialogue between Indonesia and Papua - to think again, to plan again, to make sure."

Yan Christian Warinussy