23 Jun 2009

Australian NGO urges Forum to respond to Papua abuse

3:14 pm on 23 June 2009

An Australian-based NGO is calling on Pacific Island leaders to go public over the intimidation of the indigenous people of the Indonesian region of Papua.

The Australia West Papua Association says the situation in West Papua has continued to deteriorate with increasing intimidation of the people by the Indonesian security forces.

Spokesman Joe Collins says at their recent annual summits Pacific leaders have ignored the plight of the Papuan people but this year, with Australia hosting the meeting, this has to change.

"If it's concerned about security issues in the region and also West Papua people are a Melanesian people - a Pacific people - And in the Pacific Plan of the Forum it talks about being inclusive and bringing in Pacific people that are not basically free. And I mean it is the moral duty of the Forum to raise the human rights situation in West Papua."