28 Oct 2011

US Congressman asks for humane treatment of Papuan separatist leaders

4:25 pm on 28 October 2011

The US Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin has asked Indonesia to ensure the safety of Papuan detainees arrested at last week's Third Papuan People's Congress.

Among those detained and facing charges of treason is Forkorus Yaboisembut for proclaiming an independent West Papua state.

At least five people were killed and many injured after hundreds of Indonesian security forces deployed at the congress opened fire on delegates.

More than 300 arrests were made.

Faleomavaega says he is alarmed by violations by the security forces actions, and is very concerned for the safety of Mr Yaboisembut and other detainees.

"I've already written a letter to the Indonesian Ambassador, calling not only for his (Yaboisembut's) release but also to make sure that they're humanely treated. Secretary Clinton has promised that we're going to be working together with the State Department and find out what we can do to alleviate the problem with West Papua."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin