Seven Pacific island nations have called for a UN investigation into allegations of human rights abuses in Indonesia’s West Papua and Papua provinces, where a separatist movement has simmered for decades.
A statement to a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, read on behalf of the seven states by Vanuatu’s Justice Minister Ronald Warsal, accused Indonesia of serious human rights violations of Indigenous Papuans including extrajudicial executions of activists and beatings and fatal shootings of peaceful protesters.
The statement called on the council to request a comprehensive report from the high commissioner for human rights and Indonesia’s co-operation in providing unfettered access to the two provinces, which independence supporters refer to collectively as West Papua.
Pacific island leaders angered Indonesia last year when they used their speeches to the UN General Assembly to criticise Indonesia’s rule in West Papua.
Jakarta accused them of interfering in Indonesia’s sovereignty and supporting groups that carry out armed attacks.
Mr Warsal, who spoke on behalf of Vanuatu, Tonga, Palau, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and the Solomon Islands, said they also wanted to highlight the Indonesian policy of encouraging the migration of Javanese and other ethnic groups, which has led to the dramatic outnumbering of Indigenous Papuans in their own land.
The Indonesian government “has not been able to curtail or halt these various and widespread violations,” he said.
“Neither has that government been able to deliver justice for the victims.”