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Scottish Friends of West Papua launched in Scottish Parliament

United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) News - May 10, 2024

A new Scottish chapter of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP) launched yesterday (10th May 2024) at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Friends of West Papua launch was hosted by Bill Kidd MSP, and addressed by ULMWP President Benny Wenda, ULMWP Prime Minister Edison Waromi, and IPWP Chair Alex Sobel MP.

The meeting was the fourth held as part of a new IPWP campaign to increase the pressure on Indonesia facilitate a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights fact-finding mission immediately.

Previous meetings in the UK, EU, and Dutch Parliaments highlighted Indonesia's ongoing refusal to allow the UN into West Papua. Alongside these Parliamentary hearings, the IPWP has launched the Brussels Declaration accusing Indonesia of blocking a UN visit and calling for urgent international intervention.

Indonesia first invited then-High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to West Papua in 2018, but have continually failed to make good on that promise, despite over 100 UN member states calling for a visit to happen. In the six years since, over 100,000 Papuans have been internally displaced by Indonesian military operations, with at least 1200 civilians dying as a result.

President Wenda spoke about the progress of the campaign for a UN visit, as well as the current military escalation in West Papua. Alex Sobel discussed the importance of Parliamentarians signing the Brussels Declaration, along with the IPWP call for the creation of a Special Rapporteur for Indonesia.

ULMWP President Benny Wenda: "As I speak to you now, West Papuans are living under a shadow. We are scared of the future under new Indonesian President, the war criminal Prabowo Subianto. For West Papuans, this means the ghost of the dictator Suharto is back. Prabowo has never been held accountable or punished for his atrocities in East Timor and West Papua. He has committed massacres and never apologised. In his election campaign, he said that he will pursue a military approach in West Papua. We know that the situation will only get worse under this rule.

West Papua needs short-term friends and long-term friends. We hope that Scottish Parliamentarian can join the International Parliamentarians for West Papua and add their voice to the growing cry for a UN Human Rights visit to West Papua. We have been isolated and voice for a long time and we need supporters to speak for us. Just like the Basque and Catalan Parliaments, we hope the Scottish Parliament can make their own call for a UN visit to West Papua."

Any Scottish Parliamentarian who wishes to sign the Brussels declaration should contact office@ipwp.org.

Source: https://www.ulmwp.org/news-scottish-friends-of-west-papua-launched-in-scottish-parliamen