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Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 27th July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Harries of Pentregarth Lord Harries of Pentregarth Crossbench

Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking in response to the continued violation of human rights in West Papua, most recently the arrest of 130 people taking part in a peaceful march between 30 June and 6 July.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

We follow the situation in Papua with close interest, whilst respecting the territorial integrity of Indonesia. We recognise there are significant challenges in Papua and are concerned about the sporadic violence and restrictions on freedom of expression which continue to take place, such as the events in Nabire District between 29 June and 6 July. As a result, we have pressed the Indonesian authorities to address legitimate concerns and ensure the sustainable and equitable development of the province. Our Ambassador and Embassy officials visit Papua periodically. Officials most recently visited earlier this month and our Ambassador will visit again later this year. We will continue to raise our concerns with the Indonesian authorities. We also raised the issue of access to Papua for foreign journalists during Indonesia's Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council in May 2017.

We welcome the Indonesian Government's commitment to improving the situation in Papua. President Widodo has visited a number of times since his election in 2014 and has granted clemency to some prisoners and lifted travel restrictions for foreign journalists and international organisations. These are welcome developments, which we support.

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