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EU calls on Indonesia to allow access to West Papua for top human rights official

In a statement dated 22 February 2022, EU Vice-President Joseph Borrell called on Indonesia to allow the UN Human Rights Commissioner to visit the disputed province West Papua.

In the statement, Borrell said:

‘The EU encourages Indonesia to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit West Papua and has urged Indonesia to extend standing invitations to all Special Rapporteurs and Mandate holders.’

EU West Papua news

The EU represents 27 countries, and joins 81 others from the South Pacific, Africa and the Carribbean in calling for Jakarta to approve the visit. According to Benny Wenda, Interim President of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), the people of West Papua have been waiting for such a visit for 20 years.

Information was also obtained following questions put to the EU Commission by MEP Carles Puidgemont on how much financial aid it had given to the Indonesian government since 2001 for the promotion of democracy in West Papua. More than 4.7 million Euros had been given.

Wenda also said:

‘Since 2001, EUR 4.7 million has been sent, in the name of ‘democracy, civil society, peace process, health care, education, and land-use planning’. But where is this democracy? Where is this peace? In West Papua, we don’t have basic human rights. Our land has been illegally occupied by Indonesia for nearly 60 years.

The EU needs to know that Indonesia has been using these funds to deploy armed military in our villages, to bomb our houses and displace our communities. To kill over 500,000 of our men, women and children.’

Wenda continued:

Currently, there are over 60,000 people internally displaced inside West Papua. In the last 3 years alone, Indonesia has deployed over 25,000 additional troops. All of this, while in the middle of a pandemic.

The EU, and all other organisations and states that send money to Indonesia need to know that they are funding a genocide against the West Papuan people.

They are wiping us out, they are slaughtering us like animals and the international community is paying the bill.

To the EU, and the international community, I say this:

  1. Stop your trade negotiations and stop funding Indonesia. The resources Indonesia are trading come from our illegally occupied land. Your trade agreement is based on the blood and the bones of West Papuans.
  2. Any EU based businesses with investments or interests inside West Papua need to stop operating.
  3. Stop supporting ‘Special Autonomy’ which is not the solution and has been clearly rejected by the West Papuan people.
  4. We welcome the call for the visit of the High Commissioner. The ULMWP Provisional Government and the people of West Papua are ready to welcome the UN. The world needs to see what Indonesia has been doing to our people for the last 60 years.

The ULMWP Provisional Government is ready to engage with the world’s states to solve the West Papuan issue, according to international mechanisms. The denial of our fundamental right to self-determination is the root of the problem and this is what the West Papuan people demand. The world now needs to listen.’

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