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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemns West Papua Violence

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has condemned the escalating violence in West Papua.

Ms. Bachelet says she has been ‘disturbed by escalating violence in the past two weeks in the country, particularly the deaths of protestors and security personnel.

She says this is a part of the trend that has been observed since December 2018 and the UN has been discussing their concerns with the Indonesian authorities.

Ms. Bachelet says there shouldn’t be any place for such violence in a democratic and diverse country like Indonesia – encouraging Indonesia to engage in dialogue with West Papuans on their aspirations and concerns, as well as to restore internet services and to refrain from any excessive use of force.

“Blanket internet shut downs are likely to contravene freedom of expression and limiting communications may exacerbate tensions.

“I welcome the appeals made by President Widodo and other high level figures against racism and discrimination – a long standing and serious issue in West Papua.

“I note that some arrests have been made and some members of the security forces have been suspended in relation to the violent attacks on Papuan students in Surabaya and Malang, but I am concerned about reports that
nationalist militias and groups are actively involved in the violence,” Ms. Bachelet said.

NBC/ PNG Today

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