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Australian Government called to step in on West Papua

Penulis By on Monday, 2 July 2012 | No comments

The Australian Human Rights Law Centre says Julia Gillard should press
President Yudhoyono to end the ban on foreign media reporting from Papua.
(Credit: ABC licensed)
Australian NGO the Human Rights Law Centre says Prime Minister Julia Gillard should press Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to end the ban on international media reporting from Papua.
The call comes as President Yudhoyono meets Prime Minister Gillard for a round of talks in Darwin this week.
Human Rights Law Centre spokesman Tom Clarke told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program the Centre had called on Ms Gillard to address a variety of issues.
"We call on [Prime Minister Gillard] to use...our constructive relationship with Indonesia to really encourage Indonesia to look at how they could do things differently and basically end the violence that's unfolding there."
Mr Clarke says West Papuan activists have been given 15 year jail sentences for raising the West Papuan flag, and another was recently shot dead by Indonesian authorities.
Mr Clarke says there have been some fantastic steps forward for democracy in Indonesia over the last decade, but many of them haven't made it to West Papua.
"Indonesians living in Jakarta will enjoy certain human rights that people in West Papua aren't enjoying," Mr Clarke said.
"The Australian government really like to talk up their special relationship with Indonesia.
"If that's the case, we really have a duty or a moral obligation to raise these issues."

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