13 Dec 2017

Asian Church group raises concerns after Papua visit

9:32 pm on 13 December 2017

A group from the Christian Conference of Asia has reported about a pattern of severe human rights violations in Indonesia's Papua region, known as West Papua.

Lake Paniai, Papua.

Lake Paniai in Papua province, an area where local West Papuans say human rights abuses by security forces in the last few years remain unresolved. Photo: Akabou Amatus Douw

After a visit to Indonesian-controlled West Papua, the Conference said the indigenous Papuans face "grave human rights violations and repression....in their own home land".

Last week's visit was part of the organisation's support for churches and people in vulnerable situations.

The Conference said its three-member pastoral solidarity team spent four days in West Papua with an "intensive" programme of visits and meetings.

It says West Papuans told the delegation about on-going repression and systematic human rights violations, including the passing of laws that suppress freedom of speech and freedom of association.

According to the Conference, people in West Papua spoke of the growing concern at the impunity for human rights abuses enjoyed by the police and the military.

The Christian Conference of Asia includes 17 national councils and more than 100 churches in 21 countries.