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'Australian backing' for Papua dialogue

Support for initiative to improve human rights and security in restive province

Olga Helena Hamadi (left) at the press conference

Olga Helena Hamadi (left) at the press conference
  • Margaretha Krismi, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • December 16, 2011
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A group concerned about human rights in Papua yesterday claimed that two of Australia's main political parties had expressed their support for Jakarta's plan for talks on the restive province.

Olga Helena Hamadi, who coordinates the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence of Papua, said at a press conference in Jakarta that “the Australian Labor Party and Green Party expressed concern over violent incidents in Papua and welcomed the Indonesian government’s initiative of peaceful dialogue.”

Hamadi and Indria Fernida, deputy coordinator of the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, recently visited Australia.

They told the conference they were convinced the public there would back the idea of negotiations over an end to violence and the upholding of the law in Papua, where the human rights situation has worsened over the past three months.

Last month President Yudhoyono said he was open to dialogue as long as it did not infringe Indonesian sovereignty and prioritised the special autonomy and accelerated development of Papua and West Papua as a national priority.

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