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Indonesia: Censorship

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of Indonesia on the banning and seizure of the book The Sinking of the Melanesian Race: The Political Struggle in West Papua, by West Papuan academic, Sendius Wonda. (186137)

The human rights situation in Indonesia has improved over the last 10 years and we judge that the government remains committed to further progress, as indicated by its 2006 accession to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We recognise that challenges remain and our embassy in Jakarta closely follows the situation in Papua, particularly concerning civil society work on human rights and freedom of expression. We will continue to encourage the Indonesian government to respect their international obligations in this regard. We remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, but do not believe that making representations to the Indonesian government on incidents such as the banning of Sendius Wonda's book would be as effective as the wide-ranging engagement we have with Indonesia on human rights.