18 Feb 2008

Congressmen write to UN Secretary General calling for action on Papua

2:51 pm on 18 February 2008

American Samoa's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has written to the United Nations Secretary-General expressing growing concern over Indonesia's Papua region.

In a joint letter to Ban Ki-Moon, Faleomavaega and fellow member of the US congress Donald Payne say it's critical that the UN Security Council address security concerns posed by human rights abuse in Papua.

The congressmen say the human rights situation in Papua is deteriorating against a backdrop of decades of abuse by Indonesian security forces targetting Papuan people.

They are also concerned about the restrictions placed on journalists, human rights activists and diplomats trying to get access to Papua.

The congressmen have urged the Security Council to appoint a senior official to create senior level dialogue between Indonesia's central government and the Papuan government as well as civil society leaders.

They say the key issues for dialogue to address are the demilitarisation of Papua, Papuan self-determination and transmigration of Javanese into Papua.