12 Jan 2009

Australian demonstration over Papuans' jailing

2:31 pm on 12 January 2009

More than a hundred people have demonstrated outside the Indonesian Consulate in Melbourne to ask for the release of all political prisoners in West Papua.

The demonstration was organised by Australia's West Papua Association which is calling on Australia's government to express concern to Indonesia over last week's jailing of 11 West Papuans for sentences of either three or three and a half years on subversion charges.

The Association's spokesman Daniel Scoullar says Papuans are being criminalised for merely holding peaceful demonstrations and raising a traditional flag.

He it's very hard to keep track of the exact number of political prisoners in Papua.


IN:......Because once they go into fail, there's not regular access provided. There's no provision for international observers to go in and see the conditions that they're held in. And others are taken and disappear and are treated without even going to trial. So the figures for the number of people who are persecuted for expressing their opinions. It's a much greater number than any legal figure we may be able to provide.


Daniel Scoullar