20 Oct 2006

Caroline Lucas in 7.35pm channel four appeal for West Papua

UN seat for Indonesia!

MEP DEMANDS UN ACTS TO END PAPUA VIOLENCE
CHANNEL FOUR DOCUMENTARY GIVE VOICE TO WEST PAPUANS

A EURO-MP has called for Indonesian troops to withdraw from West Papua and
the peoples of the island to be granted a referendum on independence ahead
of a Channel Four documentary detailing human rights violations in the
province to be screened tonight (Friday, October 20).

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South-East England, said the Unreported
World programme, to be screened at 7.35pm on Channel Four tonight (Friday,
October 20th), gives a rare insight into life – and death – in one of the
most isolated and oppressed countries on earth.

She said: “West Papuans have no political freedom – even discussing the
notion of independence can – and often does – lead to torture and murder at
the hands of the Indonesian military.

“The international community must put pressure on Indonesia to withdraw from
West Papua and let the Papuans democratically decide their future for
themselves. The Indonesian military has been responsible for terrible and
unlawful abuses of the Papuan people’s human rights – and they must be
withdrawn and replaced by ‘blue beret’ UN peacekeepers to quell the
violence.”

The Unreported World documentary relied on secret filming to uncover the
reality of life under Indonesian rule for the West Papuans – all foreign
media are banned and journalists usually arrested on arrival. The film
brings details of the occupation and violence to British TV screens for the
first time – thanks in part to the collaboration of the Oxford-based Free
West Papua Campaign.

The Free West Papua Campaign has organised a public screening of the film at
The Vaults and Gardens Cafe in Radcliffe Square, Oxford, from 7pm tonight.

The campaign has also been collecting messages of solidarity from students
across the city. The messages, collected in a huge card, will be sent to
West Papuan students currently in refugee camps over the border in
neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

Dr Lucas added: “West Papuan have suffered 42 years of human rights
violations, discrimination and abuse at the hands of Indonesia after it
fraudulently took control of West Papua in a staged ‘referendum’ organised
by the UN.

“Like East Timor, West Papua had been a European colony before Indonesian
occupation – but unlike East Timor, the UN is yet to rectify the mistakes of
the past and grant West Papuans their right to self-determination.”

She is to table a Written Declaration – the European parliament’s equivalent
of an early Day Motion in the house of Commons – calling for the EU to back
a referendum on West Papua’s future.

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