22 Oct 2012

Renewed call for Australia to send diplomats to Indonesia's Papua

7:27 pm on 22 October 2012

An Australia non government organisation says diplomatic observers would help the world learn about alleged human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region.

The Human Rights Law Centre was responding to reports of arbitrary arrests by Indonesian security personnel ahead of last Friday's commemoration of the Third Papuan Peoples Congress in 2011.

That event, in which West Papuans proclaimed their independence from Jakarta, was violently shut down by police and soldiers.

The Human Rights Law Centre's Tom Clarke says sending diplomats would be a practical step given the international media is effectively banned from the region.

"If it would help Australians and indeed the wider international community to gain a better picture of the human rights abuses that are occurring in West Papua. It is very hard to verify a lot of reports that are coming out of the province and if the more international observers on the ground, watching events, being able to report back to their governments and journalists, I think that's all helpful."