26 Mar 2007

New report warns of human rights infringements over Papuans in Australia/Indonesia treaty

7:30 pm on 26 March 2007

A new report says Australia's recently signed security treaty with Indonesia commits Canberra to opposing Papuan political activity.

The report from the West Papua project at the centre for peace and conflict studies at Sydney University raises the alarm over the treaty which is yet to be ratified.

The WPP report, titled, Blundering In?, says the treaty amounts to a decision to take sides with the corrupt Indonesian military against the Papuan people.

It warns the Treaty threatens human rights by apparently committing the Australian government to treat political activity by Papuan emigres and supporters in Australia as subversive and a threat to Indonesian security.

Australian greens senator Kerry Nettle says Article 2.3 of the Treaty is particularly concerning as it appears to infringe on the basic right to political expression both in Indonesia and in Australia.

And democrat senator Natasha Stott Despoja says the government must amend the treaty to include human rights protections or else Australia risks being complicit in the suffering of the Papuan people.