22 Oct 2014

Call for action, as Indonesian president visits Papua

3:20 pm on 22 October 2014

West Papua activists are calling on the new president of Indonesia to begin addressing Papua's human rights grievances during his first official visit there tomorrow.

Joko Widodo, who was inaugurated on Monday, has indicated a discussion on the West Papua situation will be one of his priorities.

A spokesperson for West Papua Action Auckland group, Maire Leadbeater, says Mr Widodo made a number of promises during his election campaign about West Papua, including ensuring greater media freedom.

Ms Leadbeater says Mr Widodo has a reputation for being fair and honest, and she has high hopes he will fulfill his promises.

She says a dialogue between Indonesian authorities and representatives of West Papuan people is needed.

"That dialogue would have to include a bit more than just looking at the economic situation, it must also look at the political situation and the status of the territory. Those things have to be opened up for discussion."

Joko Widodo

Joko Widodo Photo: AFP