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City leads petition to free West Papua

The National (PNG) - October 11, 2019

National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop is leading non-government organisations, the PNG Council of Churches, students, disciplined forces and others in the city to petition the United Nations at the Sir John Guise Stadium today.

Speaking during a media conference on Wednesday, Parkop called on everyone to declare today a "stop work" day and show their solidarity to their fellow Melanesians in Indonesia.

He made announcement flanked by of People's Power movement head Noel Anjo, Free West Papua movement chairman Jeffrey Bomanak, NCDC youth desk representative Rex Buka and NCD governor's regional office representative James Yalya.

Parkop called on business houses and the departmental heads to allow their staff to be part of the rally.

He said many MPs supported the movement against the human rights abuse in the region but had not spoken out publically against it due to the Government's foreign policy on West Papua.

Parkop said fellow governors of Northern, Eastern Highlands and East Sepik were absent yesterday at the conference due to the Parliament session, adding that he was assured that they would join him today.

He said the petition would demand the UN, through, its country office, to immediately implement the recent pacific island forum's resolution on West Papua for Indonesia to invite the United Nation's commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet and her team to visit West Papua and investigate the allegations of human rights abuse and hold those responsible accountable.

Parkop said more than 5,000 signatures for the petition had been collected already.

He also called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to understand that if he continued to suppress and oppress the people of West Papua, his country would lose respect of neighbour PNG and other nations in the Pacific.

"We cannot allow fear to dictate our policies both on political and human rights issues," he said.

"It is better that we make a stand on the political and human rights issues now to solve this problem.

"No matter what Indonesians do or say, it is not about development or services, but it is about the dignity of our people and their freedom."They have never been treated equally."

Source: https://www.thenational.com.pg/city-leads-petition-to-free-west-papua