8 Nov 2012

Call on Australia to raise Papua abuse with Jakarta

4:14 pm on 8 November 2012

The Australian West Papua Association is calling on the Australian Prime Minister to raise the crackdown on activists in West Papua at the Bali Democracy Forum.

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard is one of the co-chairs at the Forum, and the Association says she should use the opportunity to press the Indonesian President into addressing concerns of the ongoing violence in West Papua.

The Association says it is encouraged that the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has said he would be bringing the issue of West Papua to the attention of the Indonesian President at the Forum.

The Association's Joe Collins says there are credible reports of excessive use of force by the Indonesian security forces in West Papua, particularly in last month's security crackdown on peaceful activists from the West Papua National Committee.

He says given Australia's close relationship with Indonesia, and the fact that it is providing training to the Indonesian security forces, the Prime Minister should raise the human rights situation in West Papua as a priority.