5 Apr 2003

Catholic religious order condemns Indonesian actions in Papua

8:13 am on 5 April 2003

A Catholic religious order has called on Indonesia to end the creation of paramilitary groups in Papua province, to safeguard freedom of expression and constructively join in efforts to achieve peace.

Franciscans International says Papuans have suffered 40 years of oppression, and been denied their human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms by the Indonesiann Government.

Brother Theo van den Broek, who lives in Papua, delivered the statement to the UNHCR.

The statement noted the exploitation and expropriation of Papuans ancestral lands through the imposition of development policies, detention, torture and extrjudicial killings for political beliefs and opinions they have expressed.

It says the role the military plays in the province is disturbing, and highlights the ineffective control of civilian authorities, the setting up of para military groups and the combination of economic interests with military objectives.