Aug 22, 2019

UK Parliamentarians: Unrest in Papua shows need for self-determination

All-Party Parliamentary Group on West Papua
August 22, 2019

We, members of the UK Parliament, express serious concern over the Indonesian military and police deployments to West Papua following mass unrest there.

West Papuans are demonstrating in their tens of thousands following an severe racial abuse thrown at Papuan students by Indonesian nationalist and security services in Surabaya. Rather than protect these students, the Indonesian police unit Detachment 88 – which the UK and other Western powers train – stormed their dormitory with 20 canisters of tear gas and arrested 43 of them. They were released when no evidence of them having committed any crime was found.

Since then, hundreds more Papuans have been arrested, and 1,000 Indonesian troops deployed to West Papua. Following a statement from Pacific leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum on August 16, it is time for Indonesia to let the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into the territory and address the root cause of the unrest: the violation of the West Papuans’ right to self-determination.

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