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USGov: Democracy in Southeast Asia

November 20, 2015

Dear All,

How is it possible to produce a Statement about Democracy in Southeast Asia (including Indonesia) without drawing attention to situation in West Papua where democracy is a mockery?

In West Papua, anyone who raises the Morning Star flag or holds a banner calling for Merdeka (Freedom) is attacked by heavily armed troops of the TNI (Army of Indonesia) or members of the Police Force, is arrested or beaten up for being involved in a peaceful demonstration and exercising the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

On this day, we are welcoming West Papua’s best known political prisoner, Filep Karma who has at last been released after spending more than ten years incarcerated in Abepura. There are still dozens of political prisoners in West Papua who, like Filep Karma, are being held in prisons across the territory for raising the Morning Star flag.

Shame on You!

Carmel Budiardjo, Founder of TAPOL, Recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, 1995

Democracy in Southeast Asia


Scott Busby
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

James Carouso, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Mainland Southeast Asian Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy

Washington, DC

November 19, 2015

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