Britain: Corbyn backs West Papuan freedom in historic meeting

Jeremy Corbyn.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn publicly criticised human rights abuses in Indonesian-occupied West Papua and backed Papuan demands for self-determination, in a May 3 meeting at Britain's House of Commons.

The meeting was a “historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua”, International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) said. At the meeting, a new declaration was signed calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.

British labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn publicly criticised human rights abuses in Indonesian-occupied West Papua and backed Papuan demands for self-determination, in a May 3 meeting at Britain's House of Commons.

The meeting was a “historic step on the road to freedom for West Papua”, International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) said. At the meeting, a new declaration was signed calling for an internationally supervised vote on the independence of West Papua.

IPWP reported that delegates came from around the world to discuss West Papua's future. The meeting was attended by West Papuan leaders Benny Wenda, Octovianus Mote and Rex Rumakiek of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, who called for an internationally supervised vote in West Papua on self determination.

ABC News reported on May 4 that Corbyn said it was time for the West Papuan people to make their own choice about their political future.

The socialist leader told the meeting: “It's about a political strategy that brings to worldwide recognition the plight of the people of West Papua, that forces it onto a political agenda, that forces it to the UN, and ultimately allows the people of West Papua to make a choice about the kind of government they want and the kind of society in which they want to live.”

ABC news said: “Mr Corbyn endorsed a report published by the University of Warwick that called for the reinstatement of NGOs in Papua, the release of political prisoners, and a parliamentary delegation being sent to the region.”

Corbyn hailed the meeting as historic. It also included MPs, ministers and political leaders from Britain, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comments

Unfortunately the University had been told to limit its research and report to non-legal events during the 1960s. Some of those Parliamentarians are trying to arrange another meeting at which the legal options can be reviewed and debated.

As it happens, the current Australian foreign policy in relation to West Papua and to Indonesia is in direct violation of Australian Commonwealth law. That is also why the Lombok Treaty is a paper tiger; our government can not use it to forbid Australians supporting West Papua's legal right to "self-government or independence" which is part of the statute obligation that our government and the other UN nations have towards West Papua under the Charter of the United Nations article 76.