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The International Red Cross must have full access to West Papua!

This petition was published by IHRCNZ on Nov 02, 2009

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Istana Merdeka Palace
Central Jakarta

Dear President,

We the undersigned call on you to allow the International Red Cross full and unfettered access to West Papua.

We understand that the Red Cross was forced to shut its office and leave West Papua in May 2009 after its staff members visited prisoners in jail. An Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said in August that the Red Cross had no mandate under any bilateral agreements between Indonesia and Australia to re-open a branch office in the province.

The Red Cross is an impartial independent organisation with an exclusive humanitarian mission. Since 1949 the Red Cross has had an international mandate conferred on it by the Geneva Conventions, which task the ICRC with visiting prisoners, organising relief operations, re-uniting separated families and similar humanitarian activities during armed conflicts.

For peace in West Papua , there must be transparency and this cannot be achieved if the Red Cross is excluded. We join with other human rights organisations and with parliamentarians in the United Kingdom and Australia who have also called for the Red Cross to be given full access to West Papua.

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