13 Feb 2013

Call on NZ foreign minister to send fact finding mission to Papua

12:10 pm on 13 February 2013

The New Zealand Indonesia Human Rights Committee is calling on the Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, to set up a multi-party fact finding mission to visit the Indonesian region of Papua.

This week the New Zealand parliamentary Speaker denied an application for visiting Papuan activist, Benny Wenda, to be hosted at a public function in Parliament in Wellington.

The opposition says the government did not want to offend Jakarta.

The NGO says it is shameful Mr McCully shunned Mr Wenda and that he urged other MPs to do the same.

But it says the minister could make amends by setting up a parliamentary group to visit Papua so MPs can assess the situation there for themselves.

It says there is a clear precedent with a similar group, led by a National Party MP, visiting East Timor in 1994 when it was still under Indonesian occupation.