Pacific Media Watch

19 May 2016

WEST PAPUA: 'As an Indonesian ... we’re upset by what’s going on in Papua'

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Image: UNPO/ Asia Pacific Report

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ Pacific Media Watch): The Jakarta Post has published an article this week that touched on the Indonesian occupation of West Papua and the violation of human rights that has occurred there since the colonial takeover.

The article titled "Papua: Pricking our national conscience" is written by a public interest lawyer, Veronica Koman, who is a member of Papua Itu Kita (Papua is Us) movement.

An excerpt from the article touched on the suppression of democracy and media freedom:

“As an Indonesian, let me tell you why we’re upset by what’s going on in Papua. Freedom of expression is being systematically suppressed. Proud of our national anthem, we’re sickened to learn that police tarnished it when they kicked and beat six peaceful protestors who refused to sing it while under arrest on April 12 in Papua’s Yahukimo district police station.

“As long as violence, unlawful arrests, and long prison terms for 'treason' are used to suppress freedom of expression in Papua, the argument made by the Indonesian Embassy in Australia (The Jakarta Post, May 9) that Papuans benefit from Indonesian democracy will fall flat. Whether or not one supports independence for Papua, the right to freedom of expression, guaranteed under the Constitution, must be upheld.”

The full article can be read here.


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Pacific Media Watch

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