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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Ruscombe Green: Action for West Papua

Here is a letter to Neil Carmichael MP. I've not yet had a reply regarding my letter on Burma - see here - or for that matter a couple of other issues but no doubt it is not easier settling into the new job. Anyhow here is my letter on an issue I've written before - see label below for previous blogs. Photo: John Marjoram with Benny Wenda: an inspiring man - well both of them! Dear Neil, I am writing to you to ask that you join the International Parliamentarians for West Papua. It is possible to join via the website The plight of West Papua has been highlighted over the years in Stroud. I well remember Benny Wenda independence leader of West Papua when he came here in 2007 and the times we've raised the West Papuan flag, the Morning Star in solidarity with those in West Papua who face arrest, torture and indefinite imprisonment for doing the same in their home country. The situation in West Papua has not improved. The Red Cross were expelled from West Papua by Indonesia and journalists and aid workers are denied access. Reports from inside West Papua frequently report violence and persecution by Indonesian forces - both against freedom of speech and in order to gain full control of the country's wealth of natural resources. Recent reports include news that Indonesian forces have burnt villages and raped and murdered people in an area of the West Papuan Highlands. In addition Amnesty International has an ongoing campaign for prisoners of conscience Filep Karma and Yusak Pakage, imprisoned for 10 and 15 years for raising a flag ( I note that David Cameron has offered support to the Free West Papua campaign, I hope you will be able to support West Papuans and join the International Parliamentarians. I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter. All the best - Philip

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