4 Sep 2013

Amnesty calls on Indonesia to drop charges against Sorong Papuans

6:21 pm on 4 September 2013

Amnesty International has called on Indonesia to drop the charges against four Papuan activists who were arrested last week for their peaceful political activism.

The arrests were made after about 2,000 people attended a gathering at a Protestant Church in Sorong to mark the boat trip of Australian activists towards Papua who want to highlight the human rights situation in Papua.

Amnesty says the charges highlight the ongoing failure of the Indonesian government to make a distinction between violent armed groups and peaceful activists, and between peaceful expression of opinion and acts of physical violence.

The Australian activists have no clearance from Indonesia to enter its waters.

Australia has said it feels it has no obligation towards the group, which could be jailed in Indonesia for five years.