27 Oct 2011

New Zealand urged to end silence amid violence in West Papua

2:32 pm on 27 October 2011

The convener of the New Zealand parliamentary support group for West Papua has urged the government to end its silence on growing violence in Indonesia's eastern region.

The call comes after at least five Papuans died and many more were injured when Indonesian security forces broke up the Papuan Congress which had declared independence.

There have also been five shooting deaths around the ongoing strike at the Freeport mine in Timika.

A police commander has also been killed .

The New Zealand support group's convener, MP Catherine Delahunty, says Wellington should review its role in training Indonesian police in community policing in Papua.

She says New Zealand could play a more constructive role.

"Show some leadership as we have done in places like Bougainville, and help broker a conversation about ending the injustices, the human rights abuses and the deaths because yes there needs to be a democratic police force in West Papua but we're a long way from that, until we have a peace process and a recognition of the rights of the people of West Papua."

Catherine Delahunty