Friday, February 03, 2006

A I reports on Papuans seeking asylum

Amnesty International has been monitoring the civil and political situation in West Papua for many years. "Serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, "disappearances", torture and ill-treatment and arbitrary detentions, have taken place for many years in Papua Province where there is an ongoing struggle for independence from Indonesia. Members of local human rights organisations have been harassed and intimidated as a result of their work, and some have been forced to leave the province. Grave human rights violations have also taken place in the context of both peaceful and violent protests in support of independence."

AI's 2004 report on human rights in Indonesia outlines the repression of the West Papuan independence movement and details specific cases of abuse.

Barnaby Joyce et al have visited Christmas Island to interview the 43 asylum seekers. Barnaby reckons they appear 'genuine', decent people (he is generous with his judgements to a fault), but he wants to hear the other side of the debate. Well, I suggest he and his parliamentary colleagues do their homework for a change and find out just how Australia is complicit in serious human rights violations in our region under the guise of 'national interest'.

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