The voiceless speak

Thankfully some principled Australians don’t see the need to kow-tow to every Indonesian and Australian government desire:

A new campaign urging the Prime Minister not to proceed with the proposed security treaty with Indonesia was launched in Canberra today.

Former West Papuan politicians, Willem Zonggonau and Clemens Runawery, and Greens leader Senator Bob Brown today launched a new online petition urging the Australian Government not to sign any new security agreement with Indonesia while human rights abuses in West Papua continue.

Willem and Clemens witnessed the sham referendum in West Papua in 1969. They were then arrested by Australian officials (under Indonesian pressure) when they tried to travel to the United Nations in New York that year. They are currently on a speaking tour in Australia about the plight of West Papua in general.

“While the Indonesian military continues its oppression in West Papua any new security or pact with Indonesia is a mistake,” Mr Zonggonau said.

“The proposed treaty, with likely formal recognition of Indonesian occupation of West Papua, will strengthen the hand of the military in the province increasing the likelihood of further human rights abuses,” Mr Zonggonau said.

“The on-going human rights violations in West Papua are a re-run of the decades of problems in Indonesian ruled East Timor,” Mr Zonggonau said.

“The Australian Government should as a minium insist that foreign journalists and United Nations observers be given full access to West Papua as a pre-condition of the new security treaty,” Mr Runawery said.… 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, in Africa, attempts are being made to give voice to the often invisible.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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