5 Jan 2011

Easter Island evictions prompt hunger strike

9:19 pm on 5 January 2011

A leading Rapa Nui activist has reportedly begun a hunger strike in Santiago in protest at the latest evictions on Easter Island.

Erity Teave, human rights spokesperson of the so-called Rapa Nui Parliament, has likened Chile's president Sebastian Pinera to a dictator after continued police actions to remove Rapa Nui from premises they claim as ancestral lands.

Mr Pinera has defended the use of special police forces, saying it is the state's duty to uphold the law and maintain public order.

Ms Teave told Mexican news agency Notimex that she will continue a hunger strike until she is able to present her demands to the Chilean parliament.

She says she expects the dispute will be resolved through the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.