Organised by the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), 32 international human rights organisations including the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) have issued a statement for a new Indonesian government. On July 9, 2014, presidential elections will be held in Indonesia. The steps taken by the new government will decide in which direction the serious human rights situation in the largest South East Asian country and ASEAN leader will develop. Violations of freedom of religion and the isolated conflict region West Papua are among the most serious issues.
Churches, human rights organisations and activists from West Papua continue to report serious human rights violations including arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters, torture of activists, political prisoners, violence by security forces against the civilian population and extra-judicial killings. Indigenous West Papuans haven been calling for protection of their right to self-determination, many demand independence. The military, playing a key role for Indonesian politics on West Papua, continues to benefit from the resource extraction in Papua, the ongoing conflict and the isolation policy of Jakarta. Neither UN human rights observers nor foreign journalists are given free access to the region.
Indonesia needs to develop independent mechanisms to hold perpetrators of violence including from the military and police consistently accountable, enter into a peaceful mediated dialogue with Papua and open the region up for independent observers.