19 Sep 2012

Aid agencies in Papua under increased govt scrutiny - researcher

8:56 am on 19 September 2012

Aid agencies in Indonesia's Papua region say their work is coming under increased government scrutiny due to Jakarta's concern over a secessionist movement on the island.

A researcher for the NGO Human Rights Watch, Andreas Harsono, says many international aid groups working in Papua have been pushed out by the government

Mr Harsono, who has been covering Indonesia for years, told local media that a string of NGOs and charity groups, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross have had to leave.

He says they can maintain a presence if they work with the government, but if they give aid directly to Papuans or Papuan organizations, they will be closely scrutinised and suspected of aiding the independence movement.