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Pacific people struggle against oppression


AS THE WORLD’S ATTENTION focuses on human rights in the Middle East and North Africa, Amnesty International’s latest report reveals Pacific people are facing the same struggle against oppression and corruption.

On the eve of its 50th anniversary, AI has launched its annual assessment of human rights worldwide, Amnesty International Report 2011: State of the World’s Human Rights, which documents abuses in 157 countries in 2010.

“Away from the international headlines, thousands of people in the Pacific are being denied social and economic opportunity, and human rights defenders have been threatened, imprisoned and tortured,” says Patrick Holmes, chief executive officer of Amnesty International in NZ.

In PNG, violence against women and sorcery-related killings continue to be widespread but the government has done little to address them. Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners remains pervasive.

“Pacific people [are] facing torture and the denial of freedom of expression [and] also social and economic injustice,” says Holmes.

AI is calling on Pacific governments to do more to meet the legitimate aspirations of their people, and to deliver a degree of accountability and transparency.

Source: Pacific Media Watch


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Bonny Kaiyo

Some people argue that self-determination for Papua is illegitimate according to the UN’s international principles.

The reason why the UN ignored the right of people to govern themselves and secession from their current states is to maintain international peace.

Self-determination for Papua sounds like a castle in the air for most Indonesian nationalists. However, there are several key points, which may act as a potential time bomb.

Eventually, the failure of special autonomy, invalidity of the 1969’s act of free choice, and the ignorance of indigenous basic rights will blaze the trail for international intervention and support.

I believe that self-determination may be the last resort resolution for Papuans.

These comments have been drawn from a longer article that will be published in PNG Attitude tomorrow - KJ

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