Broad Coalition Calls on Carr for Compassion, Concern and Consular assistance

Today as four West Papuan leaders are believed to remain in custody after attending a congregation praying for the safety of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, a letter has been sent to Senator Bob Carr demanding concern for the safety of Freedom Flotilla and its supporters both in Australia and West Papua, and urging him to make representation to his Indonesian counterparts to respond appropriately to the peaceful action.

Leaders of faith, politics, legal, human and refugee rights groups endorsing the letter sent by Community Radio 3CR, which also expressed concern for the safety of the West Papuan refugee community in Melbourne who are believed to have been targetted by Indonesian intelligence operatives for their or their families involvement in the West Papuan pro-democracy movement.

Wikileaks candidate Gerry Georgatos and the Democratic Labour Party provided an alternative vision to the major parties’ statements  that have indicated they will not seek to ensure the rights of the peaceful group to be treated justly by Indonesia. The Indonesian Government  have not ruled out using force to stop the boats. Across the Tasman ocean, New Zealand Greens Party MP Catherine Delahunty joined the chorus of support growing around the world.

3CR’s Station Manager, Marian Prickett explained the reasons 3CR wrote the letter. “Many of those involved in the Freedom Flotilla are part of our community of programmers here at 3CR Radio and there was deep concerned at the station when we heard that both our Foreign Minister and the opposition spokesperson on the issue planned to abandon those exercising their aspirations for a free and safe West Papua. Many of those involved have fled persecution from Indonesian authorities in West Papua. We should be supporting them in their efforts to draw attention to the ongoing persecution of pro-democracy activists. History tells us again and again people have to take a stand to make change”

The letter will also be presented directly to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade office by a protest in Brisbane on Monday.

In a further show of global solidarity, yesterday in The Hague a demonstration took place outside the Indonesian Embassy in calling for the safe passage of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua. A Free West Papua campaign office was opened on August 15th, in the city which is home to the International Court of Justice. The office is working to bring the issue of West Papua’s right to an act of self-determination to the United Nations, as well as to uphold justice for human rights abuses that have taken place since West Papua was invaded in 1962.


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