Saturday, March 18, 2006

Indonesia: Investigate Escalating Violence in Papua

Human Rights Watch is calling for escalating violence in Papua's provincial capital to be investigated by an independent commission. Demonstrators and police clashed in the provincial capital Jayapura this week, causing the deaths of four Indonesian policemen and seriously injuring several civilians. Human Rights Watch called for an independent investigation by Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) into the incident, and for other domestic and foreign independent monitors to be allowed access to the area.

The festering sore of Papua is now coming to the attention of the world's media. The role of the Indonesian government and colluding partners in repressing the Papuan people should be subject to the scrutiny of independent media and monitors. Australia is in a cleft stick on this issue as we have berated melanesia on the imperatives of good governance and the rule of law, whilst ignoring the abuses perpetrated on our doorstep by Indonesia. The Papuan situation is deteriorating, signalling the possibility of militia loyal to Indonesia running amok as in East Timor, but on a much larger scale. The consequences will be terrible and the international community will have more blood on its hands - how many more Rwandas and Darfurs will it take for the UN membership to honour its charter?

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