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Written Question
European Convention on Human Rights
21 Dec 2020

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government which countries have yet to ratify Protocol 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and what reasons any such countries have given for the delay.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Of the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe, 46 have signed and ratified Protocol 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Italy is the only Member State that has signed but not yet ratified the protocol. I understand that the Government of Italy has assured the Council of Europe that the parliamentary procedures required for ratification are currently in progress, and that a date for discussion of Protocol 15 at the plenary of the Senate will be decided in due course.


Written Question
Indonesia: Protest
27 Oct 2020

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 13 October (HL8595), what was the reply given by the government of Indonesia to Heather Wheeler’s representations about West Papua at their meeting in January 2020.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We do not usually publish records of conversations - doing so may set a precedent whereby Her Majesty's Government is pressured to publish further conversations.


Written Question
Indonesia: Protest
13 Oct 2020

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia about police action in response to peaceful protests by students at Cendewasih University in West Papua.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are aware of the protests by students on 28 September 2020 at Cenderawasih University in Papua. We have not raised this specific case with the Indonesian authorities, but we regularly press them to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of peaceful protest. The former Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler, raised Papua with the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mahendra Siregar, during her visit to Jakarta in January 2020.


Written Question
Buchtar Tabuni
15 Jun 2020

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made representations to the government of Indonesia about the case of Buchtar Tabuni, who has been charged with treason after participating in peaceful protests.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are aware of the arrest, and subsequent charging, of Buchtar Tabuni. We have not raised this specific case with the Indonesian authorities, but we regularly press the Indonesian authorities to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of peaceful protest. The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including Papua. The then Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler, raised Papua with the Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mahendra Siregar, during her visit to Jakarta in January 2020.


Written Question
Papua: Armed Conflict
7 Oct 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to raise the current situation in West Papua at the United Nations; and if so, when.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We have no plans to raise the current situation in Papua at the United Nations. The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including Papua.


Written Question
Papua: Armed Conflict
7 Oct 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have held with members of the Pacific Islands Forum about the situation in West Papua.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Minister for Asia and the Pacific attended the Pacific Island Forum in August 2019. The UK notes the communique issued at the Pacific Island Forum but does not intend to respond to it. We regard Papua and West Papua provinces as being part of Indonesia and consider dialogue on territorial issues in Indonesia as a matter for the Indonesian people.


Written Question
Papua: Human Rights
7 Oct 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia about reports of human rights violations in West Papua.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Foreign Secretary raised Papua with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on 31 July at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. On 18 June, the former Foreign Secretary raised Papua with Foreign Minister Retno during the UK-Indonesia Partnership Forum, as did the former Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific on 17 June.

Following the most recent protests, our Ambassador released a press statement on 26 September urging all sides to refrain from violence and welcoming the Indonesian government’s announcement of a full and comprehensive investigation.

Embassy officials in Jakarta visit Papua and West Papua provinces and regularly press the Indonesian authorities to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of all citizens to protest peacefully, and promote the sustainable and equitable development of the provinces. The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including Papua.


Written Question
Papua: Human Rights
7 Oct 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of human rights violations by Indonesian security forces in West Papua since 15 August.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK Government are concerned about recent clashes in Papua. The Indonesian Government has announced an investigation; which we encourage them to ensure is comprehensive .

The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including Papua. We continue to urge parties to refrain from violence and respect the rule of law.

The Indonesian Government has the right to enforce security on its own territory. We continue to press the Indonesian authorities to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of all citizens to peacefully protest, and ensure the sustainable and equitable development of Papua.


Written Question
Papua: Demonstrations
7 Oct 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the protests and mass demonstrations in West Papua since 15 August.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK Government are concerned about recent clashes in Papua. The Indonesian Government has announced an investigation; which we encourage them to ensure is comprehensive.

The UK fully respects the territorial integrity of Indonesia, including Papua. We continue to urge parties to refrain from violence and respect the rule of law.

The Indonesian Government has the right to enforce security on its own territory. We continue to press the Indonesian authorities to address legitimate human rights concerns, including upholding the right of all citizens to peacefully protest, and ensure the sustainable and equitable development of Papua.


Written Question
Indonesia: Police
17 Jun 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 28 May (HL15771), whether any government department has provided funding or training for the Indonesian police unit Detachment 88, or its successors, since 2017.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The British Government does not provide any funding for police units in Indonesia. However, since the 2005 terrorist attack in Bali, the British and Indonesian Governments have worked together to tackle the threat posed by international terrorist groups which includes the delivery of counter-terrorism capacity building training to Detachment 88 through the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation. Our support includes teaching a broad range of counter terrorism investigation and analytical skills. We have also provided Detachment 88 with essential equipment to enhance their forensic, surveillance and IT capabilities. Such support helps the Indonesian authorities defend against all terrorist threats.


Written Question
Papua: Police
28 May 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they are providing for the Indonesian police unit deployed in West Papua.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The British Government does not provide any funding for police units deployed in Papua or West Papua provinces. We follow the situation in Papua with close interest. Officials from the British Embassy in Jakarta visit Papua regularly.


Written Question
Brunei: LGBT People
23 May 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Brunei about abrogating the laws under which homosexuals can be stoned to death.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Foreign Secretary spoke to Brunei’s Foreign Minister, Dato Erywan, on 4 April to express the UK’s concerns about the impact of the Sharia Penal Code. On 11 April, the Foreign Secretary and the Minister for Asia and the Pacific met Dato Erywan and the Finance Minister, Dato Amin Liew, in London. The Prime Minister wrote to His Majesty The Sultan on 1 May. We welcome the assurances thereafter provided by the Sultan on 5 May. In particular, confirmation that the de facto moratorium on the death penalty will apply to punishments under the Sharia Penal Code and the commitment to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Following this announcement, the Minister for Asia and the Pacific met Dato Erywan and Dato Amin Liew on 7 May. I also welcomed these assurances during my meeting with the Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, Dato Mutalib on 16 May.

The announcement by His Majesty the Sultan demonstrates the importance of engaging in respectful dialogue and diplomacy to address sensitive issues. The assurances provided by the Sultan are positive and go some way to addressing our anxieties about the human rights situation in Brunei. We urge Brunei to build on these assurances and formalise its commitment to respect individual freedoms and minorities.


Written Question
Papua: Journalism
17 May 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Indonesia about lifting the ban on foreign journalists visiting West Papua.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

President Jokowi made clear his intention to allow free access for foreign journalists to Papua when he announced the lifting of the ban in May 2015. A number of foreign journalists have since gained access to report on the region. Unfortunately it seems some elements of the Government have been slow to respond to President Jokowi’s wishes. We continue to receive reports that journalists face difficulties in securing visas and restrictions on free reporting.

In January 2018, I raised my concern on this issue with the Indonesian ambassador to London, and officials in Indonesia also raised this when they visited Papua in February 2019. The Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific acknowledged at a Westminster Hall Debate on 8 May 2019 that transparency and media access are important. We continue to encourage Indonesian journalists to write openly and frankly about Papua to ensure that local perspectives are properly heard and are part of any debate.

Our Embassy in Jakarta is very active in promoting press freedom. To mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2019 the Embassy arranged a full programme of activities to celebrate the work of journalists, media organisations and regulators. Indonesia will also be invited to the global Media Freedoms event in July, which the UK is co-hosting with Canada, which will promote the importance of media freedom and aim to adopt a more co-ordinated approach to securing the safety of media professionals.


Written Question
Indonesia: Arms Trade
17 May 2019

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Indonesia to ensure that British-supplied arms are not used for internal repression in West Papua.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The UK takes its arms export responsibilities seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application. We do not export equipment where we assess there is a clear risk that it might be used for internal repression.

We follow the situation in Papua closely. The Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific set out our concerns about violence in Papua and reports of alleged human rights violations by the security forces at a Westminster Hall debate on 8 May. The Minister raised concerns about the situation in Papua with the Indonesian Ambassador earlier this year. We will continue to press the Indonesian authorities to strengthen their human rights protections.


Written Question
Sudan: Visits Abroad
26 Jan 2017

Questioner: Lord Lexden (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the account of the visit of Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Sir Simon McDonald to Sudan set out in the press release of 11 January by the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan <i>Visit to Sudan by FCO’s Permanent Undersecretary Sir Simon McDonald</i>.

Answered by Baroness Anelay of St Johns

We welcome the fact that the press release published by the Sudanese Embassy in London portrays the visit to Sudan of the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development as positively reflecting progress in the bilateral relationship. As we made clear in our press release published on 11 January, the visit also reinforced the UK's commitment to supporting peace, stability, human rights and economic development for Sudan; building space for a frank and open dialogue on issues of mutual concern, whilst allowing us to underline the central importance of respect for human rights and political freedoms.