29 Aug 2012

Pacific Islands' leaders called on to stand up to Australia over Papua issue

1:37 pm on 29 August 2012

An Australia group advocating for the indigenous people of Papua says Pacific Islands leaders meeting in the Cook Islands must discuss the worsening human rights situation in the Indonesian region.

Spokesperson for the Australian West Papua Association, Joe Collins, says with an ABC report detailing Australia's links with the counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88, the leaders should push for a fact finding mission to be sent there.

Mr Collins says while Australia and possibly New Zealand will try and block discussion the security situation in Papua is the worst in the region and the island country leaders should push for it.

"Although they are smaller island states compared to Australia and New Zealand [he is hopeful] they will finally push Julia Gillard or Australia to do something about the issue. I mean they would have the support of the people of the region. The people of the region are very concerned about the human rights situation in West Papua. Unfortunately sometimes the government leaders are less keen on the issue."