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Five Papuan teenagers have been shot dead by the security forces during a protest.

For decades West Papua’s tribal people have been killed, raped, arrested and tortured by Indonesian soldiers and police. The government in Jakarta has done nothing to stop them.

There are 65 West Papuan political prisoners behind bars, many are incarcerated merely for raising the West Papuan flag or for peacefully calling for independence. These ‘offences’ can result in 15 years in prison.

Indonesia’s new President has promised to enter into dialogue with the Papuan people and to move away from a military solution to the region’s problems. His response to the teenager’s deaths will be a test of this resolve.

I’ve e-mailed President Widodo, urging him investigate the shooting of the five teenagers and to ensure that the killers are brought to justice. I’ve also asked for an end to human rights violations in the region and asked him to enter into dialogue with the Papuan people to resolve the problems.

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