16 Mar 2016

Solomons concerned about abuses in West Papua

8:37 pm on 16 March 2016

Solomon Islands has raised concern about human rights violations in the Indonesian Province of West Papua at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Papuan pro-independence demonstrators are arrested by police in Jakarta on December 1, 2015, after police fired tear gas at a hundreds-strong crowd hurling rocks during a protest against Indonesian rule over the eastern region of Papua.

Papuan pro-independence demonstrators are arrested by police in Jakarta, December 2015. Photo: ROMEO GACAD / AFP

Its diplomat in Geneva, Barrett Salato, has told the Council that human rights violations in Papua need urgent attention by the world community.

Mr Salato said Solomon Islands remained concerned by arbitrary arrests, summary executions, tortures, ill treatments and limitations of freedom of expression committed by Indonesian security forces.

He encouraged Indonesia to establish a dialogue with West Papuan representatives and to cooperate with the Council by allowing UN special procedures planning to visit Indonesia.

Mr Salato has highlighted the request made by the Pacific Island Forum to allow for a human rights fact-finding mission to be sent to West Papua.

He says access to education and health services for the Papuans has deteriorated, adding to a decline of the indigenous West Papuan population.

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