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UN urged by Vanuatu to act on West Papua human rights

August 7, 2017
UN urged by Vanuatu to act on West Papua human rights
Vanuatu has urged the United Nations to take action on Indonesian human rights abuses in West Papua.
Speaking during a debate of the UN general assembly in New York, a Vanuatu representative said his government continued to receive reports of human rights violations in Papua.

Setareki Waqanitoga said hundreds of Papuans were recently arrested by Indonesian police for holding peaceful demonstrations.

Mr Waqanitoga welcomed acknowledgement of the Papua situation by UN Special Rapporteurs on basic rights.

But he called on the UN Human Rights Council to do more.

"We call on the council to work with the Indonesian government to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression to visit West Papua to get the objective and independent view of the situation on the ground in that region," he said.

"(We) also call on the government of Indonesia to grant free and full access of international journalists to West Papua, and allow a human rights fact-finding mission by the Pacific Islands Forum to visit West Papua."

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