3 Mar 2015

NZ MP slams government as Indonesian minister visits

4:18 pm on 3 March 2015

The Indonesian Foreign Minister is visiting New Zealand today and meeting her counterpart Murray McCully, amid calls in Parliament for them to discuss human rights abuses in Papua.

Retno Marsudi has just completed a tour of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.

Last month, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua formally applied for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

The New Zealand Greens MP, Catherine Delahunty has raised in Parliament the matter of human rights abuses in Papua and says it's hypocritical for the government to have the guts to address abuses in Iraq while ignoring closer neighbours.

"This is a quiet war against the people of West Papua. It's very disappointing to have on the one hand the government saying we must participate in a war to protect human rights and yet the war in our region, the attack on West Papuan people, they are really not doing anything about it."

Catherine Delahunty says it's disappointing there was no reaction to the slaughter of school children wearing uniforms in Papua in December.

Maire Leadbeater, from West Papua Action Auckland, says the PNG Prime Minister raised documented violations, and Mr McCully should do the same.

"Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill didn't say anything about necessarily wanting a change of sovereignty or anything but he's talking about a voice at the table, I think, of the Melanesian Spearhead Group. And why should that not be granted, because it's very clear that that's what the united leadership of West Papuan leaders want."

Maire Leadbeater says Indonesia sits at the MSG as an observer, and it's fitting that the Melanesian provinces have the same status.

Residents tending to victims after a shooting in Enarotali, Paniai Regency in Indonesia's Papua province. At least four teenagers were shot dead in clashes with security forces, authorities said, although rights campaigners accused police of opening fire on protesters.

This handout photo taken on December 8, 2014 and released by Indonesian Human Rights Watch shows residents tending to victims after a shooting in Enarotali, Paniai Regency in Indonesia's Papua province. Photo: AFP Indonesian Human Rights Watch

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