Indonesia: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dr. Manfred Nowak, on the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment by Indonesian security forces in Indonesia and West Papua; whether he plans to make representations to the government of Indonesia on the report's findings; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We welcome Dr. Manfred Nowak's visit to Indonesia in November 2007, at the invitation of the Indonesian government. In an address to the UN Human Rights Council on 4 March, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirajuda, expressed appreciation for the importance of the work of the Special Rapporteurs and undertook to sustain Indonesia's dialogue with them. The report of Dr. Nowak's visit as published to the UN Human Rights Council on 10 March. It notes the considerable progress made in Indonesia since 1998 and the commitment of the current government to uphold and promote human rights. It also raised concerns about torture and ill treatment in places of detention, particularly in the metropolitan areas of Java. We are continuing to study Dr. Nowak's report and are consulting with EU partners on how we might engage with the Indonesian government on its findings. Indonesia is currently participating in a process of Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council. The UK is a member of the UN Human Rights Council and we look forward to a further discussion of Dr. Nowak's recommendations in due course.

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