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Leading human rights activists calls on Pacific Islanders to make a stand with their West Papuan brothers and sisters

June 25, 2014

http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=272368

Fiji Times Online

Ali joins fight

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ONE of the region’s leading human rights activists, Shamima Ali, has called on Pacific Islanders to make a stand with their West Papuan brothers and sisters.

The Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre executive director Shamima Ali joined a chorus of voices around the world by displaying posters to free the women and men whose rights have allegedly been violated by Indonesia.

Ms Ali said it was important to raise the seriousness of the matter. Her bid to raise this awareness and stand by the West Papuans seemed to have rubbed some members of the public the wrong way and Ms Ali claimed she was issued a directive by police to remove the posters.

Yesterday, Indonesian Embassy third secretary Berlian Epriliyana said they would release an official statement on the issue today.

Police chief operations officer ACP Rusiate Tudravu also said he would prefer not to make a comment on the issue.

"We put this up because we are a human rights-based organisation and we are also the chair for the NGO Coalition on Human Rights for Fiji and the Pacific and we have received quite disturbing reports about human rights abuses in West Papua from our contacts," Ms Ali said.

"Especially against women and young children and as part of the campaigns, this is why we felt we should put down something like this as part of the campaign on human rights."

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