26 Oct 2011

Call for violence after Papua Congress to be probed

6:24 pm on 26 October 2011

Indonesia's National Commission for Human Rights has been called on to investigate human rights abuses in Papua province following last week's congress of indigenous leaders.

The event ended in violence with reports of seven deaths, hundreds of arrests and an aggressive reaction by security personnel when delegates declared independence.

Father Neles Tebay of the Franciscan Office of Justice and Peace says they want Komnas Ham to look into allegations of human rights abuses.

And he says Jakarta has got to make itself open to genuine dialogue with the Papuan leaders.

"We do believe that only through dialogue - the government minister and the indigenous Papuans can sit together and can identify their main, or fundamental problems that have been fomenting conflict in Papua, and jointly discover solutions."

Father Neles Tebay says police illegally entered the Franciscan campus in Jayapura after the congress, breaking windows and removing computers.