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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Veronica Koman meets with Australian MPs about Papua

News Desk - The Jakarta Post
Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman (tribunnews/-)
Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman met with the Australian parliament's human rights subcommittee on Wednesday to speak with its members about the current situation in West Papua.

In a Facebook post about the visit, Veronica said that, together with Amnesty International Australia, she asked the Australian federal government to "do more to help stop the bloodshed in West Papua".

"[The MPs] were enthusiastic and asked many questions because they have heard of the unrest but do not know the details," she said.

Previously, Veronica had also met with United Nations high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet in Sydney.

"I updated her about the current crisis gripping West Papua, particularly about the security approach by the Indonesian government, the displacement of civilians and the massive clampdown on freedom of expression, including arrests of peaceful activists," Veronica said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Veronica, a lawyer for the Papuan Student Alliance, is currently wanted by the East Java Police who accuse her of provoking the protests and riots in Papua and West Papua that started in August.

She has been named a suspect for allegedly violating four laws: the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, Law No. 1/1946 on misinformation, Article 160 of the Criminal Code and Law 40/2008 on the eradication of racial and ethnic discrimination.

Veronica has denied the charges, saying that the police have "overstepped their authority and gone over the top with exaggerations in an attempt to criminalize [her actions]". (kmt)

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