3 May 2013

UN concerned at crackdown in Indonesia's Papua

7:09 am on 3 May 2013

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed serious concerns over the crackdown on mass demonstrations across Indonesia's Papua region.

Reports indicate that on 30 April police shot and killed two protesters in the city of Sorong who were preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of Papua becoming a part of Indonesia.

At least 20 protesters were arrested in the cities of Biak and Timika on 1 May.

Navi Pillay says the latest incidents are unfortunate examples of the ongoing suppression of freedom of expression and excessive use of force in Papua.

She says she urges the Government of Indonesia to allow peaceful protest and to hold those involved in abuses accountable.

Ms Pillay says there is a a need for coherent policies and actions to address the underlying concerns and grievances of the local population in Papua.

The UN says since May last year, it has received 26 reports concerning alleged human rights violations, including 45 killings and cases of torture involving 27 people.