28 Mar 2008

British report urges Indonesia dialogue with Papuans

3:20 pm on 28 March 2008

The British Foreign Office has urged the Indonesian government and all Papuan groups to engage in a peaceful dialogue.

In its Human Rights Report 2007 launched this week, the Foreign Office says while peace was being maintained in Aceh, Indonesia continues to experience low level conflict in Papua.

The report says concerns remain about the human rights situation in Papua, in particular restrictions on access to the region by NGOs and journalists.

It also mentions allegations of violations by the Indonesian armed forces and regular reports of threats against human rights defenders.

The Foreign Office says it believes that the full implementation of Special Autonomy legislation would be an important step in resolving Papua's complex issues.

However, it says there are still obstacles, and progress is slow.

The British government says it's working with the European Union towards greater engagement with the Indonesian government in support of human rights defenders.