14 Feb 2013

Lawyer says Indonesian crackdown won't stop Papua self determination quest

8:07 pm on 14 February 2013

The international human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson says says West Papuan calls for self-determination cannot be quelled by crackdowns on basic freedoms.

Ms Robinson visited New Zealand and Australia this week as part of a global campaign by West Papuan activist Benny Wenda for self-determination for the indigenous people of Indonesia's Papua region.

She claims that there is increasing international awareness of events in Papua despite an effective ban on foreign media in the region.

Ms Robinson says there are also signs of an ongoing crackdown on civil society operations in Papua.

"But unfortunately for Indonesia, it's counter-productive for them to cut off information. They continue to assert that these allegations of human rights violations are exaggerated or overstated. If that's the case, then let international organisations and journalists verify the fact, that can only improve the situation."

Jennifer Robinson