Press Release Buchtar Tabuni: International Lawyers for West Papua PDF Afdrukken

Arrest of Buchar Tabuni

The International Lawyers for West Papua (ILWP) is concerned at the arrest of Buchtar Tabuni for his peaceful expression of support for the International Parliamentarians for West Papua. This is a violation of the fundamental human right to freedom of expression - a right protected under international law.


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights states as a rule of customary international law that:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

As a sovereign state, Indonesia is bound by international law.

Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also states that:

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

Indonesia acceded to this Covenant in February 2006 and is likewise bound by this treaty to respect freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression is one of the essential foundations of a democratic society. No State can claim to be a democracy if it penalises individuals for their expressing their views peacefully. Only authoritarian governments are afraid of dissent, debate and different opinions.

We ask the Indonesian government to release Buchtar Tabuni and to allow him and all West Papuans to express their opinions freely and peacefully.

We ask the Indonesian government to respect international law and to bring Indonesian national law in line with the standards set by international law.
6th December 2008


1.Charles Foster.

Barrister & Intenational Lawyers for West Papua.

2.Melinda Janki.
International Human Right Lawyer & International Lawyers for West Papua