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Indonesia: Drop Charges Against Seven Papuan Political Prisoners

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In response to the upcoming trials to be held during the week of 14 June against seven Papuan activists and students being charged with treason for their involvement in anti-racism protests in August 2019, Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu, FORUM-ASIA Executive Director has said.

The charges against seven Papuan activists and students for their activism is disproportionate, and a clear violation of their civil and political rights.

Demanding for the rights of Papuans to be treated equally and to be free from systemic racial discrimination, as these seven activists have in August 2019, is not an act of treason.

This incident adds to the long list of persecution against Papuans, whose rights and fundamental freedoms have been continuously violated by the State over decades. The Government’s authoritative measures taken under the pretext of safeguarding sovereignty and national security have resulted in recurring patterns of violations against Papuans.

FORUM-ASIA and its eight member organisations in Indonesia urge authorities to drop all charges and release the seven Papuan activists, and cease its systemic violations against Papuans.

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. Its regional secretariat is in Bangkok, and it has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu. www.forum-asia.org

FORUM-ASIA’s member organisations in Indonesia are: The Alliance of Independent Journalists Indonesia (AJI), the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS), the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) and Yayasan Sekretariat Anak Merdeka Indonesia (SAMIN).

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