Forum Chair to ask Indonesia about fact-finding mission

10:18 am on 11 September 2015
Indonesia's Papua region: the provinces of West Papua and Papua

Indonesia's Papua region: the provinces of West Papua and Papua Photo: RNZ

Pacific Islands Forum leaders are asking the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister to meet with Jakarta to discuss their concerns over human rights abuses in West Papua and the possibility of a fact-finding mission.

The situation in Indonesia's eastern region was one of the main issues discussed at this week's Forum summit in Port Moresby amid intensive lobbying by civil society for more scrutiny on abuses in Papua.

Peter O'Neill says the concerns have been taken seriously by the Forum leaders.

"We are calling on all parties to protect and uphold the human rights of all residents in Papua, and leaders have requested the Forum chair to convey the views of the Forum to the Indonesian government and to consult it on the possibility of a fact-finding mission to discuss the situation in West Papua for all parties concerned."

Residents tending to victims after a shooting in Enarotali, Paniai Regency in Indonesia's Papua province. At least four teenagers were shot dead in clashes with security forces, authorities said, although rights campaigners accused police of opening fire on protesters.

This handout photo taken on December 8, 2014 and released by Indonesian Human Rights Watch shows residents tending to victims after a shooting in Enarotali, Paniai Regency in Indonesia's Papua province. Photo: AFP Indonesian Human Rights Watch

Peter O'Neill says it's important to stay in communication on the issue with Jakarta who he describes as having been very accommodating recently.

He says Indonesia's position must be respected.

Earlier New Zealand had said it did not support a fact-finding mission and the PNG foreign minister said his country's good relationship with Indonesia must not be endangered.

Pacific Forum leaders in Port Moresby for the 2015 Forum Leaders Summit.

Pacific Forum leaders in Port Moresby for the 2015 Forum Leaders Summit. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta