17 Aug 2006

Papuan activist in New Zealand to raise awareness about human rights abuses there

7:53 pm on 17 August 2006

A Papua pastor, who is a prominent member of the self determination movement in the Indonesiann province, is looking for New Zealand support to have the United Nations investigate human rights abuses there.

The Reverend Socratez Sofyan Yoman, the president of the Communion of Baptist Churches in West Papua, tomorrow heads a group of Papuan activists at a seminar at Auckland's AUT called The Hidden Pacific Conflict.

Rev Yoman says Papuans want help from New Zealand on two issues - firstly to encourage the UN to send an investigation team into the province look into human rights abuses there.

"And the second is, the New Zealand people, they talk to the United Nations, they must review the Act of Free Choice 1969 - this is the main problem in West Papua historically."

The controversial Act of Free Choice gave Jakarta formal control of the province fromm 1969.