It has emerged that the British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has raised concerns to the highest levels of the Indonesian Government about the ongoing human rights abuses being committed in West Papua, and the restricted access granted to foreign journalists to the region.
The Deputy Prime Minister made representations to Indonesian ministers during the Asia-EU summit in October.
During an exchange in the House of Lords in the British Parliament on 16th December, a prolonged exchange took place between several Lords regarding reported human rights abuses by the Indonesian military in West Papua and the denial of access to the region for foreign journalists. Many of them urging the British Government to take a stronger line against Indonesia. (view exchange here)
The situation in West Papua and human rights abuses in the region have steadily risen in the public consciousness in the UK in the past few years, part due to the campaigning efforts of exiled independence leader Benny Wenda. Earlier this year the British Prime Minister David Cameron described the Papuan peoples plight under Indonesian colonial rule as a ‘terrible situation’ leading to celebrations throughout West Papua that a Western leader had recognised their situation publicly. More recently, footage was broadcast on national news broadcaster Channel 4, showing Indonesian troops torturing Papuans, leading to pubic outrage in the UK and further representations from the UK Government.