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Freedom of Expression under Constant Threat in West Papua

June 4, 2015

Statement received from the Executive-Director of the LP3BH on 3 June 2015

The LP3BH-Manokwari, a non-governmental organisation that focuses
its attention on whether the rule of law prevails in the Land of
Papua, has received a report from the leadership of the KNPB-Sorong
(National Committee of West Papua) that they have reason to fear that
some of their activists in Sorong, including the chairman Kantius
Heselo and their spokesperson, Agustinus Aud may soon be kidnapped.

They say that a closed meeting was held between members of BIN,
the intelligence agency, BAIS, the strategic agency, and the tribal
heads in West Papua on 30 May at 9pm in the Kokosa Complex , Sorong.
If their information is correct, efforts are being made to restrict
the possibility of ordinary Papuan people to give expression to their
aspirations that may be in contradiction with the views of the state
apparatus and the Indonesian Government.

As is widely known, freedom of expression and freedom of opinion
are clearly guaranteed in Law 12/2005 on the Ratification of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Moreover, this
Covenant has been incorporated into Indonesian law by virtue of Law
30/1999 on Basic Human Rights.

The LP3BH calls on the Government of the Republic of Indonesia
under the leadership of President Ir. H.Joko Widodo, to safeguard
unrestricted access for the people of West Papua to give expression to
their political aspirations, whether or not they differ from those in
power, in accordance with the principles of human rights that are
recognised across the world.

Such expression of aspirations can be channelled via the
intermediary of formal channels such as through local parliaments or
through the MRP (Council of the Papuan People) or various relevant
governing agencies.

The systematic efforts being made by the government by means of
the security forces such as the TNI (Indonesian Army), Polri
(Indonesian Police Force) or such agencies as BAIS to intimidate
Papuan people and prohibit them from engaging in political activities
which has been going on for decades and up to the present day, can
only worsen Indonesia’s reputation in the international community if
it continues to restrict freedom of expression which is guaranteed by
countries across the world and have moreover been officially adopted
here in Indonesia.

Peace!

Yan Christian Warinussy, Executive-Director of the LP3BH – the
Institution of Research, Analyzing and Development for Legal
Aid-Manokwari.

Translated by Carmel Budiardjo.

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