16 Nov 2011

Calls for Australia and US to use ASEAN to press Indonesia on Papua issues

10:41 am on 16 November 2011

Human rights groups have called for Australia and the United States to use meetings at the East Asia Summit in Bali to press Indonesia into addressing concerns of ongoing abuse and violence in Papua.

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard will meet with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Sunday, following the conclusion of the ASEAN summit, which

begins in Bali this week.

It's also expected US President Barack Obama will hold talks with Dr Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the summit.

Amnesty International's, Josef Benedict, says a ban on international non-government organisations and the foreign media in Papua is allowing security forces to operate under a "culture of impunity".

He says the ASEAN summit is an important opportunity for international governments to urge the Indonesian government to deal with the human rights situation in the country.

Mr Benedict says Indonesia - which is a signatory to the ASEAN declaration on human rights, and as the current ASEAN chair has been pressuring Burma to address its poor record on human rights - is guilty of a serious double standard.