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Demonstrate to free Papuan political prisoners – 2 April

March 18, 2014

Demonstrate to free Papuan political prisoners – 2 April

Please help to make the voices of the many political prisoners in West Papua heard by attending this demonstration and representing one of the political prisoners currently incarcerated.

If you are able to attend the demonstration and willing to take on representing one of the political prisoners then please let us know by emailing office and we will forward you information about the prisoner you will be assigned to represent.

On 2 April 2014, the Free West Papua Campaign will take part in a demonstration outside the Indonesian embassy in London to protest the ongoing detention of over 70 political prisoners in West Papua and to call for their immediate and unconditional release. The demonstration is being organised by TAPOL and will also be attended by Amnesty International UK and Survival International.

We will stage a visual protest, where selected demonstrators will ‘stand-in’ for political prisoners. A ‘stand-in’ demonstrator will represent a political prisoner, and will be seated on the floor, handcuffed and mouth taped shut. This will create the main narrative for the demonstration – to have the total number of political prisoners in Papua be immediately visualised. 76 prisoners represented by 76 demonstrators. Each ‘prisoner’ will be identified by name cards and when available, a photo. Other demonstrators will be invited to surround the ‘prisoners’ with placards and signs to bring voice to the protest.

Join us in our call to the Indonesian government to respect freedom of expression in West Papua and to unconditionally and immediately release all Papuan political prisoners. Call on Her Majesty’s Government in the UK to urge the Indonesian government to comply with its international and national obligations to respect human rights.

According to data from Papuans Behind Bars, the number of political arrests more than doubled in 2013 as compared with the previous year, and reports of torture and ill-treatment of political detainees have also increased. This points to a significant deterioration in the environment for freedom of expression in West Papua. Indigenous Papuans continue to be arrested for peaceful activities such as raising the Papuan Morning Star flag or attending demonstrations and public events that express dissent. Often they are charged with treason or incitement which can carry lengthy prison sentences. Peaceful activists are often charged with criminal violence, backed by fabricated evidence and unreliable testimony. While many political prisoners are in jail as a result of their peaceful political activities, others just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Journalists and lawyers face coercion, intimidation and violence from security forces who enjoy wide impunity. West Papua still remains largely closed to foreign journalists, NGOs and international organisations, making it difficult to accurately report on violations as they take place.

It has been asked for demonstrators not to fly Morning Star flags at the demonstration, purely to help get the media to focus on freedom of expression and Papuan political prisoner release.

For more information: www.papuansbehindbars.org / www.tapol.org

West Papuans demonstrating in support of political prisoners.

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