Corbyn made the comments during an address to the UK-based International Parliamentarians for West Papua (IPWP).
“What we’re looking at is a group of people who did not enjoy their rights during a period of decolonization, did not enjoy the rights bestowed to them by the UN charter and by the statutes on decolonization,” Corbyn said, as reported by the Guardian.
He will advocate for free vote support to be added to the party’s platform as it reflects ambitions to base foreign policy decisions around human rights, he said.
“I want these issues to become central to our party’s policies in the future and above all I want to see an end to environmental degradation and destruction and the right of people to be able to make their own choice on their own future.”
West Papuan separatist leader Benny Wenda, who has been living in political exile in London since 2003, led the group in signing a declaration dubbed the Westminster Declaration in support of a referendum and criticizing the 1969 “act of free choice” as void, according to the IPWP statement.
Meanwhile, support for the cause voiced by Australian senator Richard di Natale, leader and West Papuan spokesman for minor party the Greens, prompted the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra on to the offensive.
In a string of tweets published on Friday, the embassy disputed claims made by the campaign and reaffirmed the government’s plans to revitalize infrastructure in the region.