What you can do to lobby your MP
Here are 4 things you can lobby your local parliamentarians to do to help free West Papua.
The Free West Papua Campaign in Oxford, UK, and its associates all over the world are working hard to lobby parliamentarians on West Papua – but nothing helps more than a groundswell at the local level putting pressure on local government officials and parliamentarians. Following the historic gathering in Westminster on May 3, 2016, UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s calls for a referendum on independence, and the unification of the overseas movement under the ULMWP, the Papuan cause is growing rapidly. We now need to intensify the pressure on governments across the world. You can lobby your parliamentarian in local meetings, phone calls, letters and emails. When you do so, we recommend pointing them towards a recent report from the Politics of Papua Project at the University of Warwick which gives a detailed overview of the issues in Papua and issues several recommendations for parliamentarians. Here are 5 things you can directly ask your parliamentarian to do:
1. Sign the Westminster Declaration.
The Prime Minister of Tonga, Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister, Australian Senator Scott Ludlam, and representatives from the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have all signed the Westminster Declaration, which calls for an internationally supervised vote on self-determination for West Papua. We will be gathering as many signatures from parliamentarians as possible before presenting the Declaration to the UN in 2017. Parliamentarians can sign by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Join the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
A group for dozens of international parliamentarians who support West Papua’s right to self-determination and seek to fight for West Papuans’ rights in their own legislatures and internationally. They can join the group here, or contact email@example.com.
3. Ask questions in parliament.
It is important that parliamentarians are regularly raising questions in their respective legislatures around human rights violations, development, media restrictions, police impunity, discrimination, land rights, mining, historical injustice, and the complicity of their own government in the Indonesian occupation. It is crucial that parliamentarians pressure their government’s foreign affairs department to end military exports to and training of the Indonesian police and military, and press for the release of political prisoners, the lifting of the NGO ban, and the end of torture and impunity.
4. Support a resolution in parliament calling for media freedom in Papua.
The Government of New Zealand recently passed a motion calling on Indonesia to respect freedom of the press with respect to West Papua. Following a detailed report from Human Rights Watch, the campaign for media freedom in Papua is growing rapidly. You can find a template of a letter to send to your local representative asking them to pressure your government to call for media freedom here.