Papuans Behind Bars has been launched as an online information service – http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/ – for the rest of the world to be aware of West Papuans imprisoned by Indonesian authorities – political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. This morning The Stringer was contacted by supporters of West Papuan conscience objector Selpius Bobii, who is in hiding from the Indonesian authorities, to tell The Stringer that Mr Bobii has been reading our news site and if we can highlight his plight and that of other West Papuans.
The Stringer will bring an interview with Mr Bobbi, and his views on the ways forward with the West Papuan cause. West Papuans believe that Australia must play an imperative role in the ways forward, and engage in the world’s unfolding human rights and social justice agendas – freedom and equality for all peoples at all times.
On September 2nd, supporters of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua gathered outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Brisbane. They were protesting against the August 28 arrest of four supporters of the Flotilla in the West Papuan town of Sorong. Those arrested are now facing charges of treason because they raised the West Papuan Morning Star flag.
According to Papuans Behind Bars there are 57 Papuans jailed for cultural and political expressions. Despite all the allegations by a variety of sources of ex-judicial killings, torture and various persecution, the Australian Government has shown to have a deaf ear, instead seemingly choosing to override West Papuan peoples’ concerns with the neighbourly relationship they are seeking from Indonesia. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has bent over backwards in expressing his respect “for the sovereignty of Indonesia”. Amnesty International has called on Indonesian authorities to drop the charges against the four supporters.
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