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Free All West Papuan Political Prisoners

April 1, 2014

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

Media release 1 April 2014

Free all West Papuan political Prisoners

On the 2nd April West Papuan solidarity groups are holding a day of action calling on the Indonesian Government to free all West Papuan political prisoners unconditionally. Rallies are being held in various cities around the world. AWPA has written to the Indonesian President calling for the release of the more than 70 Papuan political prisoners incarcerated in West Papua.

Joe Collins of AWPA said "It is of great concern that the human rights situation in West Papua is deteriorating as the increase in political prisoners indicate. Papuans Behind Bars in their January 2013 update stated that “At the end of January 2013 there were 33 political prisoners in Papuan jails.” In its February 2014 update it stated that, “there were at least 76 political prisoners in Papuan jails”
AWPA is calling on the Indonesian Government to release all West Papuan political prisoners unconditionally as a sign of good faith to the West Papuan people. A number of articles in the Indonesian Criminal Code such as article 106 is used to stigmatize West Papuans as separatists when in fact all they are doing is using their democratic right to freedom of expression. We call on the Indonesian Government to amend or repeal those articles of the Indonesian Criminal Code that have been used to imprison West Papuans for their legitimate peaceful activities.

AWPA will also write to the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs urging that she raise the plight of West Papuan political prisoners with the Indonesian Government urging their unconditionally.

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