Oxford, 30th July 2005 Rt Hon. Jack Straw MP Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Foreign and Commonwealth Office London SW1A 2AHDear Mr Straw,
WEST PAPUA: Recent Indonesian attacks on civilians
I am in Year 10 (aged 14) at Cherwell School in Oxford. I have been learning about the Nazis and the terrible racist way they treated Jews, gypsies and homosexual people, and if the Nazis had invaded England, my Jewish grandfather would have been killed.
Here in Oxford I've got to know a wonderful West Papuan family - Benny and Maria Wenda and their children Koteka and Wenne. They have told me about the terrible genocide of the West Papuans by Indonesia, and to me it sounds exactly like Hitler's racist regime that attempted to wipe out the whole Jewish population. Just like the Nazis, Indonesia is also attempting to wipe out the Papuans.
The situation in West Papua is continuing to get more and more desperate, and international support is urgently needed. Unfortunately the amount of international support at the present is sadly limited.
Right now we need it more than ever. The Indonesian military are attacking villages in West Papua, killing many in the most horrific ways and forcing the surviving villagers to flee for their lives and seek refuge in the hills, where many more die of diseases and starvation. Last week, Benny Wenda's own village, Pyramid, was attacked. The village is now deserted. Two of Benny's cousins were shot and are now missing. Benny's brother had his head slashed with a razor, drenched in petrol and set on fire. He died.
All this was done by the Indonesian army. The very same army that Britain is helping by selling fighter jets to and keeping them in the skies by selling them spare parts. Who do you think is going to attack Indonesia? No-one. They use the fighter jets against their own people.
What the Papuans need is for the Indonesian army to be withdrawn from West Papua and replaced with a UN force; and for the unfair Act of "Free" Choice to be reviewed. These requests would not be difficult to carry out, but they could, and would, prevent a genocide.
I look forward to receiving your reply.