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Jakarta Post

To Indonesia: Step up and end systematic abuses in West Papua

  • Eni F.H. Faleomavaega and Donald M. Payne

Washington, DC   /   Fri, November 18 2011   /  08:41 am

Ahead of his visit to Bali, members of Congress are calling upon US President Barack Obama to make West Papua one of his top priorities during his upcoming talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. On Oct. 19, 2011, Indonesian security forces opened fire on unarmed West Papuans who had gathered at the third Papuan People’s Congress to peacefully air their political aspirations.

At least three indigenous Papuans were killed, dozens injured, and many pistol whipped and beaten with rattan canes. Six were detained and are now in custody, including Forkorus Yaboisembut, the newly elected president of the Republic Federal State of West Papua. He joins Filep Karma, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience who is now serving a 15-year jail term for raising a flag in 2004.

Key leaders in the US Congress are calling for their release and asking that Indonesia...