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03/17/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On March 15, 12 international non-government organizations (NGOs) have conveyed the conditions that have been and are happening in West Papua at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The groups submitted a joint statement expressing their ongoing concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua, Indonesia. Although the Indonesian government has established a ‘‘Special Team” to deal with 13 cases of alleged gross human rights violations, including the three cases in West Papua, since there is no time frame for the task force, its effectiveness remains to be seen.

The escalating violence and shrinking space for civil society in West Papua as highlighted by the OHCHR are also concerning to the groups. New cases of human rights violations continue to be documented, while hundreds of Papuans have been displaced due to the armed conflict between the Indonesian security forces and members of the West Papua National Liberation Army.

Church workers, including a pastor, were targeted and killed in the last few months. Other Church workers, health personnel, and human rights defenders working with the IDPs fear for their safety.

As a member of the Council, Indonesia should guarantee respect and protection of human rights, and a prompt and effective investigation, prosecution, and remedy the cases of gross human rights violations in West Papua, in conformity with its obligations under international human rights law. The groups also urge the Council to continue to give due attention to the general human rights situation in West Papua.

The 12 groups are Franciscans International, Geneva for Human Rights, VIVAT International, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, CIVICUS, and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development with the support of the International Coalition for Papua, West Papua Netzwerk, TAPOL, the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Franciscans in Papua, and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS).

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