29 Jul 2013

Indonesia called on to speak with West Papuans to identify issues

7:04 pm on 29 July 2013

A civil society leader has made a plea for Indonesia to dialogue with West Papuans to ensure their basic rights such as freedom of expression.

The comment from the head of the Papua Peace Network, Neles Tebay, comes after the UN Human rights Committee highlighted an ongoing failure to protect civil and political rights in West Papua.

At the committee's recent Indonesia hearing, the Indonesian government delegation to the committee responded by saying that freedom of expression is not absolute.

Fr Tebay says Indonesia needs to understand the social and political context of West Papuan independence calls.

He says that's why dialogue is imperative.

"For the government and indigenous West Papuans to jointly identify the problem and its root causes and jointly discover independent solutions so that the result of the dialogue would be that every person living in West Papua can express freely its opinion."

Neles Tebay