An Indonesian official says human rights abuses are no longer happening in West Papua like they used to.
Franzalbert Joku from the Ministry for Political, Judicial and Security in Indonesia is at the 48th Pacific Islands Leaders Forum in Samoa.
“I’m saying it’s not happening to the scale like in the 60s, 70s, 80s and even as late as the 90s.”
“On the issue of Papua independence and human rights abuses allegations, we don’t think the forum is the appropriate place to address these issues."
Franzalbert Joku (right). Photo/ PRN.
Protesters gathered outside the Aggie Grey’s Sheraton Hotel in Samoa yesterday to address the leaders and delegates attending the forum.
Samoan senior solicitor Unasa Iuni Sapolu says it’s time for the Pacific nations to have a collective voice on West Papua.
“This is something the Pacific Forum should stand up for. At least half a million people have been murdered. There is genocide, there’s a holocaust in the West Pacific and what do we do? We sit back and have a holiday on public moneys.”
However Joku says things have changed.
“It’s no longer the Indonesia or Papua that we have known before," he says. “Come to Papua and have a look for yourselves."
Protesters in Samoa. Photo/ PRN.