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Action ALERT

East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

Please take this simple step to support human rights and justice.
 
Capitol building. Call Congress.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 Papua.

Prisoners of Conscience Filep Karma and others may spend years 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 Papua.

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 www.congress.org for contact information. To sign on to the resolution, the aide should contact Laural Havas in Rep. Patrick Kennedy's office.
 
Your call can make the difference.

Your call can make the difference.  Please keep us posted of the results of your calls by writing to etan@etan.org. . Please spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere; link to this page here: http://etan.org/action/action4/32alert.htm. Support ETAN's work by donating today. Thank you!!

as of November 29, co-sponsors included: Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2]; Rep Doggett, Lloyd [TX-25], Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14], Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F.H. [AS], Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4], Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22], Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12], Rep Honda, Michael M., Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. [OH-10], Rep Markey, Edward J. [D-MA], Rep Moran, James P. [VA-8], Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC], Rep Payne, Donald M., Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27], Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4], Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13], Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1], Rep Wu, David [OR-1]

Go here to check on additional sponsors. Be sure to thank your representative if she or he is on the list.
 
Talking points


Papuans demonstrate1. 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 democracy.

4. The representative should support human rights by co-sponsoring House Resolution 1355 by contacting Dan Murphy in Rep. Patrick Kennedy's office.

You can e-mail your member of Congress on the Resolution directly via Amnesty International USA website

see also


111TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION

H. RES. l355

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the human rights crisis in Papua and West Papua.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. KENNEDY submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on _____________

RESOLUTION

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 trafficking;

Whereas the Government of Indonesia has recently banned the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) from the Provinces of Papua and West Papua which followed ICRC visits to detention facilities;

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 reigns";

Whereas Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid permitted Papuans to fly the "morning star" flag as a cultural and historic symbol;

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 Pakage;

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 that

(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.


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