28 Nov 2005

Papuan lawyer calls for dialogue to restart with Indonesian government

2:08 pm on 28 November 2005

A Papuan human rights lawyer is calling on the Indonesian government to restart dialogue to review the special autonomy granted to the province.

Yan Christian Warinussy was speaking out after winning the John Humphrey Freedom Award, a Canadian prize set up to honour the lawyer who wrote the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Mr Warinussy says Papuans are rejecting the special autonomy granted to the province and have called for a review of the 1969 Act of Free Choice which led to Papua, a Dutch colony, being integrated into Indonesia.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Warinussy says the autonomy granted to Papua by Indonesia is limited.

"The Papuans now have strong feelings to become independent, to become free from Indonesia because the Indonesian government is not serious in implementing the self autonomy. The government has a target of 25 years to implement fully the self autonomy but in the last five years, the Papuans are getting nowhere."

Mr Warinussy says a petition for a review has been sent to Jakarta following a big march earlier this month but there's been no response from the Indonesian government.