- By Jason Abel, Port Vila, Vanuatu
The Vanuatu Government has voiced great concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua and calls for urgent intervention by the international community.
“While the deployment of military was deemed necessary to quell recent protests in West Papua, actions are disproportionately heavy-handed, and have already resulted in several causalities,” the Office of the Prime Minister conveyed in a statement yesterday.
“Also, and according to early reports received, the Military continues to unfairly target protestors of Papuan origin-through arbitrary arrests and detentions.”
“Although, given the communication ‘blackout’ in West Papua, the human rights situation could be much worse.”
Forum Leaders in their meeting in Tuvalu have acknowledged the reported escalation in violence and continued allegations of human rights abuses in West Papua and agreed to re-emphasize and reinforce the Forum’s position of raising its concerns over the violence.
The Vanuatu government echoes the recent call by Forum leaders for intervention by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in urging urgent intervention.
In other West Papua updates, Lai Sakita, Chairman of VANGO has confirmed a West Papua Solidarity March will be held today at 3PM from Fatumauru Bay to the Parliament House, where a petition will be presented to the Vanuatu government.
All members of the public in Port Vila are welcome to join the march in solidarity for West Papua.