Tent Embassy calls for sanctions against Australian government: West Papua Human Rights

Press release

Aboriginal Tent Embassy activists will seek a meeting with the Ambassador of Indonesia today for an assurance that no aggressive action will be taken against human rights activists on the West Papuan Freedom Flotilla.

A press conference will be held outside the Indonesian Embassy, 8 Darwin Avenue, Yarralumla ACT 2600 at 11 am today Wednesday 21 August 2013.

Aboriginal Tent Embassy calls for sanctions against Australian government, UN investigations to commence in West Papua.

Aboriginal Activists are outraged by Senator Bob Carr's disregard for human rights, and are calling on the United Nations to sanction the Australian Government for it's repeated violations of basic human rights.

"Senator Carr and his government need reminding of Australia's obligations to respect and defend Human Rights as set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The world has been watching closely how Australia mishandles Asylum Seekers, the 'Manus Island affair', and now we see an unwarranted attack on the democratic and human rights of peaceful unarmed people aboard a small Australian registered vessel. Senator Carr has an obligation to ensure human rights are upheld and respected in any encounter this vessel has with authorities. Instead Senator Carr has virtually invited the Indonesian and PNG governments to arrest and hold the human rights activists, which would make them political prisoners under those same instruments of international law the Senator is flagrantly ignoring."

If the Australian and Indonesian authorities are to continue their hostile stance towards a legitimate human rights expedition, then we call upon the highest level of the United Nations to intervene and guarentee the safety of passagers aboard the Freedom Flotilla. Further the United Nations must ensure an investigation into the Indonesian occupation of West Papua and the genocide under which 500000 people or more have been slaughtered. The site of the worlds largest gold mine, has been in a state of civil war for many years, with the government in exile jailed in an Indonesian jail in Jaiyapura.

Australians have been through this before with the liberation of Timor Leste (East Timor) and also the end of Apartheid in South Africa, we have heard our governments call people terrorists or just plain irresponsible activists, and in the case of these two countries it was a matter of time before the 'terrorist' Nelson Mandela became the one of the worlds most loved free man and President of his people. It will happen with occupied West Papua, it is only a matter of time.

Can Senator Carr please explain the Australian governments role in the genocides fueled by mining interests in Bougainville (Rio Tinto) and now in West Papua as Rio Tinto (in joint venture with Freeport) expand operations there?

Can Senator Carr explain how in 50 years Indigenous west Papuans have gone from being 96 % of the population to about 50 % in 2000, and expected to be only 13% of the population by 2030? What would Senator Carr chose to call what the rest of the world names as genocide? This is Australia's close neighbour, only 300 km to the north, and yet most Australians know nothing about the gross human rights violations their own government isinvolved in, not just via the mining corporations, but also through the military and AFP ties to Indonesian security forces. Can Senator Carr please explain how one of these, Detachment 88, a particularly brutal force linked to torture and extrajudicial killings of independence activists, receives financial and operational support from the Australian Federal Police?

And if the Australian Government won't recognise the Sovereign leaders on board the Flotilla, we suggest that is because it is too comfortable with it's own complicity and that it is time for the UN to reassess it's relationship with purveyors of genocide.

It's time for the UN to act urgently - NOW - to protect the Freedom Flotilla, protect and support independent media, investigators, truth finders, to go into West Papua and uncover the truth behind Australia's violations of human rights.

For more information please call Aboriginal Tent Embassy spoksepeople Alice Haines 0447097659 or Lara Pullin on 0433449024.