The International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) held a meeting in the British Parliament on June 14th 2022. At the meeting, which was attended by a number of UK MPs, the IPWP reaffirmed their unified call for a visit to West Papua by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

The meeting was hosted by IPWP Chair Alex Sobel MP, and saw speeches in favour of a UN visit by Sobel, ​​Pernando Barrena (MEP from the Basque Country), Jen Robinson (Human Rights lawyer and cofounder of the International Lawyers for West Papua), Carles Puigdemont (MEP and former President of the Government of Catalonia) and ULMWP Interim President Benny Wenda. 

Along with calling for a UN visit, Mr Sobel gave an update on the IPWP’s progress, following a number of successful meetings in recent months. Mr Barrena talked about the progress the IPWP have made in the Spanish Parliament. Ms Robinson discussed the illegality of Indonesia’s occupation under international law and outlined the legal basis for an independence referendum. President Puigdemont, calling in remotely from Brussels, spoke of the criminalisation of protest in West Papua and the need to free Victor Yeimo. Interim President Wenda discussed the dire state of human rights in West Papua, and the recent revelation that Indonesia is secretly bombing West Papua with European munitions. Speakers also urged the EU to halt its trade deals with Indonesia until they welcome a UN investigation.

Large gatherings and prayer services took place across West Papua in support of the meeting.

Video of the meeting is available here.

Interim President Wenda said: ‘Indonesia must allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights into West Papua. The Chinese government recently allowed the High Commissioner into Xinjiang to investigate human rights abuses against Uyghurs. Why has Indonesia not done the same?’

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