AWPA: CHOGM leaders should condemn the brutal crackdown on the West Papuan people

Press Release
The Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

24 October 2011

AWPA is calling on the CHOGM leaders (who will meet in Perth) to condemn the brutal crackdown on the West Papuan people .

In a bid to make CHOGM relevant the Commonwealth leaders will discuss a special eminent persons’ report on renewing the organisation. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said talks will focus on “the role of the Commonwealth in the age in which we live and how we can strengthen it for the future”

The report warns the Commonwealth must “focus fresh attention on violations of human, political and civil rights if it is to continue to command attention on behalf of its member states and retain the respect of its own people”.

Joe Collins of AWPA said “obviously CHOGM will focus on its own member states however, many of the CHOGM countries are regional neighbours of Indonesia and some like Australia and New Zealand help train and aid the Indonesian security forces. Human rights should be universal and organisations such as CHOGM should make a statement of concern about the human rights situation in West Papua. If enough pressure is put on Indonesian it may hold its military to account for human rights abuses.

At the end of the 3rd Papua People`s Congress the delegates raised the West Papuan national flag, the Morning Star flag. The security forces immediately began fireing live rounds to disperse the assembly. Six people were killed.

up to 300 hundred were arrested and many were beaten by the security forces with batons, bamboo poles and the butts of their rifles

Six delegates have been charged with treason.

Open Letter from ILWP to Inspektur Jenderal Drs BL Tobing Papua Police Chief

International Lawyers for West Papua


Inspektur Jenderal Drs BL Tobing
Papua Police Chief
Regional Head of Police (Kapolda)
JI. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura

Fax: +62 967 533763
21 October 20
Dear Kapolda,

We, the International Lawyers for West Papua, respectfully seek to remind you
of your duties under international law.

It has been reported from a police source (Republika, 19 October 2011) that
approximately 600 people were arrested at the Third Papua Congress, a peaceful
assembly at which the Papuan community were gathered to discuss their future.
Other media outlets have reported that between four and seven people were
killed and many others injured after security services opened fire on the
assembly and that hundreds more were beaten before being taken into custody.

As a Police Chief you are an agent of the Indonesian State and you are bound to
obey the human rights standards set by international law, particularly the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which Indonesia
acceded to on 23 February 2006. We also remind you of your obligations under
the Indonesian Human Rights Act and Human Rights Courts Act.

The right to freedom of assembly is protected by Articles 21 and 22 of the
ICCPR. The right to free speech is guaranteed by Article 19 of the ICCPR. The
people of West Papua are entitled to meet and discuss freely their opinions,
including their right to self-determination and their desire for independence
and self-government. If they have been arrested for doing so, they are
prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately.

We therefore request that you immediately confirm the basis for the arrests and
ensure that all detainees that were injured during the violence have access to
medical care. We also request that you:

Comply with Articles 19, 21 and 22 of the ICCPR and release any detainees
held for engaging in peaceful assembly;
Comply with Article 7 of the ICCPR and guarantee that all of those detained
will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated while in detention;
Comply with Article 14 of the ICCPR and allow all detainees immediate
access to a lawyer of their choosing;
Comply with Article 2 of the ICCPR in instituting a full and thorough
investigation of the extra-judicial killings and violence at the assembly in
breach of Articles 6 and 7 of the ICCPR.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Yours sincerely,

International Lawyers for West Papua

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: