President Obama and US Congress called to act on human rights in West Papua PDF Afdrukken

Three human rights organizations have urged the US government and Congress to investigate and act on the continued, disturbing violations of human rights in West Papua.

The letter from the West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT), Land Is Life, and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) highlighted the deteriorating security situation in West Papua.

As the plea was being sent, the security situation in West Papua continued to deteriorate, with reports of additional armed clashes in the Papuan capital of Jayapura as well as the cities of Biak, Nabire and Wamena. Violent mass arrests were also taking place.

“These developments underscore the urgency of US Government and Congressional action to address the crisis in West Papua,” said Ed McWilliams of WPAT. McWilliams is a retired senior US Foreign Service Officer who served in Jakarta. “Washington must press Jakarta to deal with Papuans fundamental grievances.”

The letter called on the US to investigate and condemn recent human rights violations and urged “the US Government and Congress… to press for an internationally facilitated, senior level dialogue between the Indonesian Government and Papuans, including Papuan civil society, to address long-standing Papuan concerns and grievances.”

Among these are calls for demilitarization of the territory and an end to repression and release of those arrested for peaceful protest, provision of essential services, and self-determination.

The letter was also sent to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and key members of Congress on East Asian and foreign affairs.