‘Zero mention of human rights abuses during the Aus govt’s visit to Indonesia’, says HRW director

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Earlier this year West Papuan and Pacific leaders gathered together in the British parliament to call for an Internationally Supervised Vote to determine the future of West Papua. On the same day, people in West Papua held peaceful demonstrations to show their support, but over 1700 of them were arrested by Indonesian police. Video: Free West Papua Campaign

The deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division has said the Australian government has ignored Indonesia’s human rights abuses and particularly those in West Papua.

He published an article through online newspaper, The Conversation, in which he stated that when the Australian Attorney-General, George Brandis, visited Indonesia this month he failed to mention the ongoing oppression and human rights abuses in West Papua by the Indonesian government.

“Brandis’ Papua trip report references visits to ‘border facilities and a traditional market’ and reiterates Australia’s recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over Papua, but makes zero mention of human rights,” the article stated.

He referred to Brandis’ trip to Indonesia, which began in Papua, as a “blind eye” on Indonesia’s human rights abuses.

“[It is] an unfortunate reflection of the Australian government’s tendency to rarely raise concerns publicly about human rights violations in countries with which it co-operates on border protection matters or has significant trade relationships,” the article reported.

The full article can be read online at The Conversation.

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