Kamis, 17 November 2011

Obama in Indonesia: Will the President Speak Out on Human Rights?

Indonesia's fledgling democracy is also being tested by events Papua. The western part of the island of New Guinea was once a Dutch colony, but has been Indonesian territory since a highly contested 1969 plebiscite known as the "Act of Free Choice." Large segments of the indigenous Melanesian population oppose Indonesian rule and many want greater autonomy, or even full independence for the region. Indonesia opposes the movement and has repeatedly used force to quell secessionist sentiment.
On Oct. 17, Indonesia police and military forces attacked a peaceful protest in the city of Jayapura, killing three, arresting about 300 and injuring at least 96. New York-based Human Rights Watch is calling for an independent investigation into the incident. “Papuans peacefully calling for independence does not justify a deadly crackdown,” said deputy Asia director Elaine Pearson in a statement. “President Yudhoyono has an opportunity to show Papuans that he's concerned about their rights
by seriously investigating these deaths.” Obama also has an opportunity. He can tell Yudhoyono's government that the world expects better from Indonesia. And that he does too.

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