10 Sep 2002

New Zealand pressure group calls for review of Papua's status within Indonesia

10:32 am on 10 September 2002

A lobby group, the Indonesian Human Rights Committee, is pressing for New Zealand to support a campaign reviewing Papua's status within Indonesia.

The committee wants a review of the 1969 referendum that led to the integration of the former Dutch colony into Indonesia.

The call follows the release of classified government papers which said that New Zealand officals ignored warnings of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975.

The Foreign Minister, Phil Goff, says the documents are a matter of shame - but lessons have now been learnt.

Maire Leadbeater is spokesperson for the Indonesian Human Rights Committee and she says New Zealand is now showing a lack of action over Papua.

"We are strong supporters and backers of the Indonesia people but the Indonesian military have a terrible brutal record and it isn't just in East Timor it's also in places like Aceh and West Papua"