15 Feb 2013

West Papuans calls for self-determination cant be silenced, says lawyer

5:10 am on 15 February 2013

An international human rights lawyer says West Papuan calls for self-determination have a sound legal basis and cannot be silenced.

Jennifer Robinson visited New Zealand and Australia this week as part of a global campaign by West Papuan activist Benny Wenda promoting self-determination for the indigenous people of Indonesia's Papua region.

Ms Robinson says West Papuans are committed to the issue and unless it's dealt with, violence in the troubled region will continue

She says it would be helpful if enough countries supported a move to seek International Court of Justice to review the flawed process by which Papua was incorporated into Indonesia.

"Of course Indonesia has avoided any sort of international adjudication on the issue because they know that they're in the wrong. Legally speaking, West Papua is in the right, and has the right to self-determination that was denied to them in 1969. International law is on their side. The difficulty is getting it into an international forum where that matter can be decided."

Jennifer Robinson.