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West Papua: Cartoon debate mocks plight of enslaved people.

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Senator Christine Milne


Sunday, 2 April 2006

West Papua: Cartoon debate mocks plight of enslaved people

The cartoon debate between Australia and Indonesia mocks the plight of the enslaved West Papuan people, Greens leader Bob Brown told a Melbourne rally today.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs called no press conference after West Papua's leader Theys Eluay was assassinated by the Indonesia military three years ago," Senator Brown said.

"He has had no press conference to call for the safety of 200 Papuan students currently hiding from armed troops near the capital Jayapura.

"But yesterday an Australian newspaper cartoon which crudely portrayed Indonesia's enslavement of West Papua had him rushing to both the Indonesian and Australian media to express horror.

"In Mr Downer's world a cartoon is worse than an assassination," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown called on the Minister to urgently refer the plight of West Papua, which generated the recent flight of 42 refugees to Australia, to the United Nations.

"If the Howard government's repeated calls for liberty and democracy around the world are not hollow, then it must act to ensure one million West Papuans get liberty and democracy," Senator Brown said.

More information: Prue Cameron 0408 473 379

Katrina Willis Adviser Office of Senator Christine Milne Ph: 03 6234 4566 0437 587562 Fax: 03 6234 2144