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RI Rejects Clinton Allegations On Papua

November 12, 2011

Indonesia Rejects Clinton Allegations On Papua

Nov 11 (AFP) — Indonesia rejected allegations of human rights
violations in Papua province on Friday, hours after US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton criticised abuses in the restive region.

"As far as the politics of Papua go, we’ve already made it clear that
there are no systemic human rights violations in Papua. There are only
isolated incidents, they are not the norm," presidential spokesmen
Teuku Faizasyah told AFP.

Jakarta has faced a low-level insurgency in Papua ever since its 1969
takeover of the vast, mineral-rich territory which borders Papua New
Guinea and has its own ethnically distinct population.

At least 11 people were killed last month amid a long workers’ strike
at a mine owned by US company Freeport McMoRan and a clash with
security forces at a pro-independence rally.

Clinton, who arrives next week for a regional summit on the Indonesian
island of Bali with President Barack Obama, said Washington had "very
directly raised our concerns about the violence and the abuse of human
rights" in Papua.

"There needs to be continuing dialogue and political reforms in order
to meet the legitimate needs of the Papua people, and we will be
raising that again directly and encouraging that kind of approach,"
Clinton said at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in
Honolulu, Hawaii.

On Friday, Australia-based activist group West Papua Media posted
videos of what it said was a crackdown on an independence rally in
October in which rights groups say at least three people were killed.

It showed armed Indonesian security forces shooting at protestors
wearing the colours of the outlawed separatist flag, and beating
children.

Police had earlier said they had only fired warning shots in the air
after a group of Papuan leaders declared independence and raised the
separatist flag, an offence that carries a maximum life jail sentence
in Indonesia.

The remote eastern region is off limits to foreign journalists.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Wednesday he would open a
dialogue with Papuan leaders to discuss development and prosperity,
but not self-determination.

Washington and Jakarta have strengthened ties in recent years, signing
new trade agreements and strengthening military and anti-terror
cooperation.

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