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Indonesian rights body notes rampant rights abuses in Papua

April 11, 2016


Indonesian rights body notes rampant rights abuses in Papua

about 1 hour ago

Indonesia’s leading human rights organisation says there has been no improvement in the area of rights in the Papua region since president Joko Widodo took office in 2014.

President Widodo has pledged more focus on a socio-economic approach to resolving issues for West Papuans.

However, Haris Azhar, the co-ordinatorof the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, or KONTRAS, says the abuses in Papua are as rampant as they were under previous governments.

"I checked the data in my office. It showed the number last year of more than 1,200 people suffer from harassment, killings, torture and ill-treatment," he said.

"We haven’t put the other issues into this number – the economic and social rights issues."

Haris Azhar says these abuses are often made by security forces against Papuans for exercising their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and movement.


2) MSG discord over Director-General selection
2:32 pm today

There are signs of discord within the Melanesian Spearhead Group over the selection of its new director-general.

Last week, Fiji’s foreign minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said his country’s Ambassador for Climate Change and Oceans, Amena Yauvoli, had been selected for the role.

It’s over four months since the former MSG director-general Peter Forau resigned. The Solomon Islander cited a lack of budgetary support and declining commitment from member states to the group’s programme.

MSG leaders are due to meet for a special meeting next month in Port Vila, where a new director-general was expected to be formally appointed. Ratu Inoke’s announcement came as news to other MSG members.

As far as Vanuatu is concerned, the selection has not been finalised. Its National Council of Ministers met last week and decided to nominate Vanuatu’s ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey-Joy as the new MSG head.

Earlier, Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato confirmed his government had put forward its own candidate, a senior PNG diplomat, but had since decided to withdraw the name.

The office of the MSG chairman, Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said formalities for the director-general’s appointment would be concluded today.

Fiji’s government has been unavailable for comment on the matter.

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