16 Members of the European Parliament have signed a letter to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, in which they raised concerns over the precarious human rights situation in West Papua. In the letter, the many cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, restrictions on freedom of expression and serious deficiencies in the access of indigenous peoples to health care and education are addressed. Ashton has now responded.
The MEPs asked that the EU encourages Indonesia to
– actively enter into peaceful dialogue with the Papuans to resolve the conflict
– grant access to Papua for EU and UN observers
– release all Papuan political prisoners
– introduce reforms to ensure that perpetrators of human rights violations are held accountable
– make sure that arms delivered by EU member states are not used against the civilians
Read the original letter to Catherin Ashton here.
Catherine Ashton has replied on May 30, 2014 to the letter and expressed concerns that access for journalists and civil society organisations to Papua is limited. In her letter she explains that the EU supports meetings between Jakarta and Papuan church leaders.