Trouble in paradise

Benny Wenda
The island of New Guinea, 250km north of Australia, comprises the independent state of Papua New Guinea on one half and West Papua on the other.

It is covered with tropical rainforest, home to many unique species of wildlife, and hugely rich in resources such as oil, gas, copper, gold and timber.

Yet in this paradise the people of West Papua, like Benny Wenda, are suffering terrible oppression under Indonesian rule. This situation of oppression has been maintained by ruthless military crackdowns on political activity in the area.

Despite this, the UK has provided military support through arms sales to Indonesia over most of the last 30 years.

This is not unusual. Last year, the government agreed exports to 11 out of the 21 countries of "major concern" listed in the FCO's annual human rights report. The UK arms trade is FUELLING CONFLICT, AIDING OPPRESSION, and HARMING DEVELOPMENT, keep poor countries locked in poverty.

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