Australian Greens spokesperson for West Papua, Senator Richard Di Natale, today welcomed the comments by the Governor of Papua Lukas Enembe that West Papua is now open to journalists and human rights monitors and has announced that he will visit the province.
“I had been planning to visit West Papua and today I’m announcing my intention to do so in the coming months,” said Senator Di Natale, founding co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua group. “I will invite a delegation of journalists and human rights representatives to join me on the trip.”
“I welcome the statements from the Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, that the region is now open to everyone, and hope this change of heart is a genuine reflection of the intentions of the Indonesian leadership in Jakarta.
“In the past there has been a de facto ban on foreign journalists traveling to West Papua. This change in position comes on the back of three West Papuans entering the Australian Consulate in Bali to request that the international community pressure Indonesia to open up the region to journalists and NGOs.
“The Governor has seized the moment unlike Tony Abbott, who categorised the incident as ‘grandstanding’.
“I look forward to directly meeting with West Papuan activists and hearing their perspective on the situation in West Papua.”