12 Jan 2009

Australians demonstrate over Papuans' jailing

1:15 pm on 12 January 2009

In Australia, more than a hundred people are demonstrating outside the Indonesian Consulate in Melbourne to ask for the release of all political prisoners in West Papua.

The demonstration has been 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 subversion.

The so-called Manokwari Eleven have been given prison sentences of either three or three and a half years.

The Association's spokesman Daniel Scoullar says as an important advocate for the protection of human rights in the region, Australia can't continue to ignore what happens in Indonesia.

"The Manokwari eleven are the latest group to be put in jail for expressing their opinions and raising their flag which are things which shouldn't be criminal in any country. It's just making sure that the Indonesian government is aware that you can't imprison people on ridiculous charges like this without some kind of ramification and it is being noted by the community."

Daniel Scoullar