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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

01 October 2019

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Fiji Women's Rights Movement

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NGOCHR PR: Emergency Alert on Humanitarian Crises and the Need for UN Intervention to West Papua Now

NGOCHR PR: Emergency Alert on Humanitarian Crises and the Need for UN Intervention to West Papua Now

1/10/19

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) reiterate the call by our Pacific Islands Leaders during their Forum Leaders meeting in Tuvalu in August 2019 for immediate intervention by the United Nations and a visit by the Human Rights Commissioner to West Papua.

Chair of the Coalition Nalini Singh says “The Coalition has been reliably informed that –

  • Since 19th August anti-racism protests in West Papua continues to increase escalation of the military and police violence against civilians particularly against indigenous West Papuans students, youths, women and men.
  • On the 17th of September the Civil Society Coalition- Papua for All (Ko Masi Papua) reported on the increased arbitrary arrests of 99 named suspects: 39 people in Jayapura, 8 people in Timika Regency, 16 people in Deiyai Regency, 19 people in Manokwari Regency, 14 in Sorong City and 3 people in Fakfak Regency.
  • On the 23rd of September in Jayapura about 733 exodus students from Java were arrested because of their peaceful protest against racism, at least four students were killed. According to Jubi the local newspaper in West Papua they reported that 727 students were released the next day however 6 students are still being locked up at the Brimob Headquarters in Jayapura.
  • On the same day (23rd of September) High School students of Wamena organised a peaceful protest against the act of racism by one of their school teacher. The students marched to the head of the Regency office where the Police and Military attacked them with gunshots and tear gas resulting in 33 civilians including students being killed and some were burned alive. It is unclear how many more victims were killed in Wamena and this is because the access of communication and transportation were closed down.

She adds that “The latest update on the number of deaths in West Papua reported by SBS news on 25th September recorded that 32 West Papuans have died...The current pattern of evacuation and military deployment in Wamena is being linked the 2000 bloodshed creating a deep sense of fear among the people”.

“The NGOCHR having supported the cause for a free West Papua as a matter of Human Rights joins with voices of Fiji Civil Society organisations to raise the same urgent call from the people of West Papua who have predicted that if no immediate action and intervention is taken in Wamena, West Papua then our silence has contributed to the loss of their lives”.

“We again reiterate the call by our Pacific Islands Leaders during their Forum Leaders meeting in Tuvalu in August 2019 for an immediate intervention by the United Nations and a visit by the Human Rights Commissioner to West Papua.

We urge the Fiji Islands Government to immediately take action on this Alert by responding to the deteriorating human rights situation in West Papua”, Singh said.

Ends

For further information please contact Chantelle Khan on 7221170 or 3100170