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ETAN Action Alert: Support Human Rights in West Papua  ETAN
 May 24, 2010 05:56 PDT 

ETAN Action
ALERTEast Timor and Indonesia Action
Please do this simple task to support human rights and justice. Please
spread the word.
Call your representative in Congress. Urge him or her to co-sponsor H.
Res. 1355, The resolution, submitted by Rep. Patrick Kennedy urges the
government of Indonesia to improve  human rights in West
Prisoners of Conscience Filep Karma,Yusak Pakage and others may spend
the next decade or more in prison in Indonesia for peacefully raising a
flag. Indonesian assaults on freedom of expression and abuse in its
prisons are well-documented. A year ago, the Indonesian government
expelled the International Committee of the Red Cross in West
What YOU can do:
Call your Representative today. Urge her/him to co-sponsor House
Resolution 1355 supporting human rights in Indonesia's West Papua.
A copy of the Resolution is below.
When you call, ask to speak to the foreign affairs legislative assistant.
The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121 (ask for the office
of your Representative), or check
for contact information. To sign on to the resolution, the office should
contact Daniel Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy's office (5-4911).
Your call can make the difference.  Please keep us posted of
the results of your calls by writing to
here to check on current go sponsors. Be sure to thank your
representative if she or he is on the list.  Support ETAN's work by

donating today. Thank you!!

Talking points:
1. The U.S. Department of State, UN investigators and human rights
organizations have documented threats to freedom of expression and dire
prison conditions in the Indonesian provinces of West Papua and Papua.

2. The government of Indonesia must demonstrate its commitment to freedom
of expression by releasing people convicted for peacefully expressing
their political views, improving prison conditions, and allowing access
to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
3. The U.S. Congress needs to be a strong advocate for human rights in
Indonesia and elsewhere. Representative Kennedy's resolution is an
opportunity for members to express their commitment to the rule of law
and freedom of expression in Indonesia. This can only strengthen
4. The Congressmember should support human rights by co-sponsoring House
Resolution 1355 by contacting Dan Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy's
You can e-mail your member of Congress on the Resolution via

Amnesty International USA.


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the
human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.
Mr. KENNEDY submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the
Committee on _____________
Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the
human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.
Whereas the Department of State's 2008 Human Rights Report on Indonesia
documents the detention of at least 30 peaceful Papuan activists, the
killing of a Papuan man at a peaceful rally, and additional evidence of
suppressed speech, societal abuse, and discrimination against religious
groups, violence and sexual abuse against women, child labor, and human
Whereas the Government of Indonesia has
banned the International Committee of The Red Cross(ICRC) from the
Provinces of Papua and West Papua which followed ICRC visits to detention
Whereas a 2007 United Nations report by United Nations

Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, found "widespread
torture in Indonesian prisons" and "the use of excessive force
by Indonesian security forces in particular in Papua" and that
"beatings and other forms of torture are entrenched in much of
Indonesia's prison system where a culture of impunity
Whereas Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid permitted Papuans to fly
the "morning star" flag as a cultural and historic
Whereas Amnesty International has identified numerous prisoners of
conscience in Indonesian prisons, among them Papuans such as
Filep Karma and Yusak
Pakage, imprisoned for peaceful political protests including the
display of the "morning star" flag which has historic,
cultural, and political meaning for Papuans;
Whereas 40 Members of
Congress in 2008 petitioned Indonesian President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono on behalf of Papuan political prisoners Filep Karma and Yusak
Whereas a Human
Rights Watch report on June 5, 2009, noted "torture and abuse of
prisoners in jails in Papua is rampant"; and
Whereas prominent Indonesian leaders have called for a national dialogue
and Papuan leaders have called for an internationally-mediated dialogue
to address long-standing grievances in Papua and West Papua:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives
(1) the Government of Indonesia should report to the international
community specific progress made regarding

(A) the end of abuse of those detained by authorities in Papua and
West Papua and prosecution of those guilty of that abuse;
(B) actions taken by the Government of Indonesia to improve
conditions of incarceration, especially in Papua and West Papua;
(C) measures taken to protect the right of its citizens to peaceful
assembly and association as well as the freedom of speech and
specifically symbolic speech, such as raising banners or flags;
(D) compatibility of Indonesian law that criminalizes peaceful
political dissent and conflicting Indonesian commitments concerning
the  rights to freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by
international covenants to which Indonesia is a party, to include the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
(E) provision to or access to detention facilities in West Papua by
recognized human rights monitoring institutions, including the
International Committee of The Red Cross; and
(2) the Government of Indonesia should allow an independent, third
party human rights organization to review prison conditions with special
attention to Papuan inmates and on the basis of that review, formulate a
series of recommendations to the Government of Indonesia that would
facilitate prison and legal reforms especially to

(A) address deficits in facilities, personnel training, and
procedures for the purpose of improving the humanitarian treatment of
those detained;

(B) formulating procedures, including judicial reform and legal
remedies to ensure that prison authorities face appropriate punishment
for mistreatment of those detained; and
(C) encourage reform of the Indonesian criminal code and sentencing
procedures to ensure that they reflect Indonesia's commitments under
international undertakings and Indonesia's own legal obligations to
protect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of
speech and peaceful assembly and association.

see also

Congress Demands Action
on West Papua Political Prisoners as Human Rights Violations Persist
Amnesty International:

Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, Prisoners of Conscience
Human Rights Watch:
Protest and
Punishment - Political Prisoners in Papua

West Papua Report

full alert and updates are here:


Support ETAN! Read what Noam Chomsky says about ETAN:

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668  Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391 
Email jo-@etan.org Skype: john.m.miller
Web site:

Send a blank e-mail message to in-@etan.org to find out  how to
learn more about East Timor on the Internet
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