Parliament members in the Netherlands concerned about situation of indigenous peoples in West Papua

Members of the lower house of the Dutch bicameral parliament expressed their concern about the situation in West Papua and spoke of a "repression of the indigenous population of West Papua in Indonesia". The SGP (Reformed Political Party) asked questions on West Papua to Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra on 7 February 2018. Other political parties, such as the VVD, CDA, D66, ChristenUnie, PVV, GroenLinks, SP and the PvdA supported the inquiry.

The parties asked the Dutch Foreign Minister what he thinks of the situation in West Papua and what measures the government of the Netherlands intends to undertake to address the issue. The discussion arose after BBC journalist Rebecca Henschke was expelled from the province of Papua due to a critical post on Twitter.

The government was asked to explain how the Netherlands can ensure that its police training does not contribute to the oppression of the people and what can be done to promote the press freedom in West Papua. SGP Group Chairman Kees van der Staaij said "This week our group met with a man from Papua who was in prison for eleven years for raising the Papuan flag. This is just one case, but there are so many more stories that are not covered in the media. This is because journalists can not work freely in West Papua.

The provinces of Papua and Papua Barat – at that time known as "Dutch New Guinea" - were under the Dutch colonial rule. In 1962, the Netherlands ceded the former colony due to international pressure.