24 May 2013

New Zealand peace group queries support for Wellington's Papua policy

6:41 am on 24 May 2013

A member of a New Zealand Peace Group which has met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss issues relating to West Papua has questioned this country's links to Indonesian security forces.

Lower Hutt Waiwhetu Peace Group asked the Ministry about a range of aspects of how New Zealand engages with Jakarta over ongoing human rights abuses in Indonesia's eastern region.

This comes as the Indonesia section of Amnesty International's just released annual report includes concerns about impunity for Indonesian security forces for rampant rights violations in Papua.

The group's Theo Fink says he is unhappy with the direction Wellington has taken, particularly in ongoing training and assistance programmes for Indonesian military personnel and police in West Papua.

"All we're doing is helping them be more effective in the horrible things that they're doing. And I don't believe you could find five percent of New Zealanders who would agree that we should be doing that."

Theo Fink of the Waiwhetu Peace Group.