14 Nov 2011

US alarmed at Papua human rights situation

5:32 am on 14 November 2011

The US Secretary of State has voiced alarm about human rights conditions in Indonesia's Papua and called for dialogue to meet the aspirations of the restive region's people.

In rare public US criticism of Indonesia, Hillary Clinton said the US has very directly raised its concerns about the violence and the abuse of human rights in Papua.

She says there needs to be continuing dialogue and political reforms in order to meet the legitimate needs of the Papua people.

At a speech at the East-West Center in Hawaii, she said the US will again be raising its concerns.

Indonesia denies the allegations but refuses to allow foreign media or aid workers into the region to conduct independent inquiries.

Last month, the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said his government would meet with rights groups to avoid misconceptions over the jail conditions of Papuan activists.