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Keep out: Indon on West Papua

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

THE Indonesian embassy in Fiji says no one has the right to interfere in matters relating to West Papua.

Responding to questions from this newspaper yesterday, it stated the embassy's stance on the issue of West Papua was that it was "entirely an internal matter of Indonesia".

The embassy's comment was in response to earlier comments by Fiji Women's Crisis Centre executive director Shamima Ali regarding a police directive to remove the "Free West Papua" posters on their fences in Suva.

"Regarding the 'Free West Papua' posters, sometime in the late afternoon, one of the Indonesian Embassy's staff saw the posters, and then the embassy simply informed the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Fiji," the Indonesian Embassy said.

"It was merely to inform the ministry that there were posters written 'Free West Papua' placed on the fence of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre right across Indonesian Embassy."

Ms Ali claimed she was issued a directive by police to remove the posters over the weekend.

She has also called on Pacific Islanders to take a stand with their West Papuan brothers and sisters.

She joined a chorus of voices around the world by displaying posters to free the men and women whose rights have allegedly been violated by Indonesia.

Ms Ali said the centre had been receiving good responses in regards to West Papua as they had a wide range of network.

"I don't think the ordinary people in Fiji are aware of what is happening in West Papua and the struggles and I think that is the privilege of those of us that travel and those who have made contacts on human rights movement," Ms Ali said.

"It is a shame that Pacific Island countries are not doing more for West Papua.

"We need to make a stand and make our West Papuan brothers and sisters voices heard."

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