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Shining a light on West Papua



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Media Release

Dr Richard Di Natale Greens Senator for Victoria

22/08/2012

Shining a light on West Papua

Australian Greens Senator, Dr Richard Di Natale, today commended the Rize of the Morning Star West Papuan activist group and Lush Cosmetics on launching a public campaign to shine a light on the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.

“Sadly Australia is largely oblivious to the abuse of human rights on our doorstep, in West Papua,” said Senator Di Natale.

“Journalists and human rights groups face restrictions on access to the region so we rarely have the opportunity to learn what is happening in West Papua.

“Rize of the Morning Star group and Lush Cosmetics are launching an awareness campaign today and I commend them for shining a light on the issue.”

Lush are supporting the Rize of the Morning Star campaign and this week will be giving all of the money (minus GST) from the sale of their Smell Of Freedom perfume to the campaign group. Lush will be displaying the Morning Star flag, a symbol of resistance

and the calls for independence for the people of West Papua, in their stores around the country.

“In West Papua, people face arrest and imprisonment for raising the Morning Star flag. Right now West Papuan activist, Filep Karma, is serving 15 years in jail for raising the Morning Star at a rally in 2004, and is recognised as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

“The Greens have repeatedly called on the Government to show leadership on the issue of West Papua.

“The Greens believe that the indigenous people of West Papua should have the opportunity to decide their own future, in accordance with international standards of human rights and the principles of international law.”

Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600