24 Oct 2011

International lawyers remind Indonesian police of human rights obligations

2:10 pm on 24 October 2011

An international group of lawyers has called on the police in Indonesia's Papua province to comply with Indonesia's human rights obligations.

Reports from Indonesia say Papuan leaders are among six people charged with treason following the third Papuan People's Congress, which was forcefully dispersed by police last week.

Hundreds were arrested and six people reportedly died in connection with altercations surrounding the events.

Sally Round reports:

"The International Lawyers for West Papua group says the police are bound to obey human rights standards set by the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and Indonesia's own human rights legislation. Indonesia acceded to the Covenant in 2006. The lawyers have asked police to confirm the basis for arrests and ensure injured detainees have access to medical care. They say if the detainees have been arrested for meeting and discussing self government then they are prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately. Police say Papua is a part of Indonesia and any attempt to secede from the country is against the law."