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Hina Jilani

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage Indonesia to allow (a) foreign journalists, (b) independent observers and (c) NGOs into West Papua. (156432)

Officials at our Embassy in Jakarta visit Papua regularly and meet local officials, academics, journalists and non-governmental organisation (NGOs). We continue to encourage the Indonesian Government to allow access to Papua for media organisations. We are aware that the BBC correspondent based in Jakarta was given permission to visit Papua in September. We will continue to press the authorities to permit other journalists to visit.

Hina Jilani, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders was given permission to visit Papua in June. Access to Papua for developmental NGOs has improved significantly since the election of Governor Suebu in 2006 and a number of international NGOs and UN agencies have established representative offices in Jayapura.