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Home » » WP Human Right issue discussed with Lib Dem Shadow Foreign Secretary

WP Human Right issue discussed with Lib Dem Shadow Foreign Secretary

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on July 22, 2008 | 10:28 PM

ev Socratez Sofyan Yoman Meeting with Edward Davey Liberal DemocratMP, Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in London.
By WPNews
Jul 23, 2008, 00:42

(i) SELF-DETERMINATION: The root cause of the conflict is the denial of the West Papuans� right to self-determination, a right which was recognised by the international community throughout the 1950�s and �60�s. However, with the help of General Suharto�s Western allies (in particular the USA, UK & Australia), Indonesia staged a sham referendum in 1969.
Cruelly called the �Act of Free Choice�, the Indonesian military hand-picked 1,026 Papuan elders to �represent� a then population of 800,000, and forced them at gun-point to vote for Indonesia. Suharto and the West knew full well that if they had allowed the Papuans �one person-one vote�, as is required under international law, they would have voted overwhelmingly for independence.
In a landmark breakthrough, after over 30 years of silence on the matter, the UK Government formally admitted in 2004 that in the 1969 �Act of Free Choice�, �1,000 handpicked representatives � were largely coerced into declaring for inclusion in Indonesia�. (1)

(ii) DIALOGUE: The West Papuans are calling on the Indonesian Government to enter into internationally-mediated dialogue, without pre-conditions, with genuinely representative West Papuan leaders. Indonesia has to date refused. Western governments claim the conflict is an �internal matter� and thus currently refuse to offer to mediate dialogue.

(iii) ACCESS: The Indonesian Government severely restricts access to West Papua for foreign journalists and international human rights observers, including Amnesty International.

(iv) FREEDOM of EXPRESSION: West Papuans are calling on the Indonesian Government to allow them to exercise their rights to Freedom of Expression, Association & Assembly, particularly in relation to peaceful demonstrations in favour of self-determination & independence for West Papua (including peaceful raisings of the Morning Star flag), and immediately & unconditionally release all West Papuan political prisoners. Indonesia is currently in breach of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights which it signed in 2006.

By way of example, two West Papuan independence activists, Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, were sentenced in 2005 to 15 and 10 years imprisonment respectively for peacefully raising the Morning Star flag on 1st December 2004. Amnesty International has recognised them as Prisoners of Conscience and is campaigning for their immediate and unconditional release, together with all other Papuan political prisoners. (2)

(1) �He [The Rt Revd Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford] is right to say that [in the 1969 Act of Free Choice] there were 1,000 handpicked representatives and that they were largely coerced into declaring for inclusion in Indonesia� Baroness Symons (Foreign Office Minister) speaking in the House of Lords, 13th December 2004
(2) See Amnesty International UK Action on Filep Karma & Yusak Pakage:
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