Author Topic: UK Govt challenged over rights abuses in West Papua  (Read 957 times)

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Offline mayya

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UK Govt challenged over rights abuses in West Papua
« on: July 27, 2013, 10:40:01 AM »
UK Govt challenged over rights abuses in West Papua

Posted at 21:19 on 26 July, 2013 UTC

Members of the House of Lords held a debate about West Papua on Wednesday in which they raised serious concerns about the human rights situation and called on the British government to take a stronger stand.

Lord Harries, who initiated the debate, noted the alarming pattern of ongoing political arrests in the Indonesian province, citing evidence collected by the London-based human rights group TAPOL.

He also challenged the UK government about its funding of Special Detachment 88, the elite counter-terror squad which has allegedly been used in the arrest, torture and shooting of political activists in the Papua provinces.

He questioned whether the training provided by the UK and others was doing anything to improve the human rights record of the unit.

Lord Hannay called the Indonesian government’s policy of restricting access for foreign journalists and NGOs misguided, adding that where secrecy prevails, rumour and allegations flourish.

Lord Avebury suggested the situation in West Papua is almost certainly a lot worse because of the barriers to access.

Lord Harries criticised the Special Autonomy law as a total failure which fails to address the political aspiration of the Papuan people.

He called on the UK to request an inquiry into the Act of Free Choice and support an internationally-monitored referendum.

Lord Avebury noted the outstanding request of the Papuan people for self-determination, and called on the UK government to invite Indonesia’s President to visit the UK next year for the Scottish referendum on independence, to see how they deal with requests for self-determination.

Lord Hannay added the Indonesian government should demonstrate respect for the culture of Papuans, and that any attempt to homogenise or encourage migration into Papua will bring tensions.

The government response was given by the Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Baroness Warsi.

In responding to the concerns raised, Baroness Warsi noted the high level of concern about freedom of expression during the debate, and agreed that freedom of expression in West Papua is too often stifled.

She echoed statements of all those who spoke in the debate, that all those with a stake in Papua’s future need constructively to engage in peaceful dialogue.

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Offline suez

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Re: UK Govt challenged over rights abuses in West Papua
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 16:25:17 PM »
That was riveting! Lords? Are these real people? In which case.... pull the plug!