15 Jun 2016

NZ MPs want action on West Papua mission

5:11 pm on 15 June 2016

New Zealand politicians want the government to press for progress on a high level fact-finding mission to Indonesia's Papua region.

The Pacific Islands Forum leaders agreed at last year's summit in Papua New Guinea to consult Indonesia over how to monitor and investigate human rights abuses in Papua.

New Zealand Greens MP Catherine Delahunty is pushing for an independent fact-finding mission to West Papua.

New Zealand Greens MP Catherine Delahunty is pushing for an independent fact-finding mission to West Papua. Photo: RNZI

The New Zealand government indicated on several occasions that Indonesia was opposed to the idea but Greens MP, Catherine Delahunty, who leads a now 20 strong group of New Zealand parliamentarians, said this country had to do more.

"We will be writing a collective letter to Murray McCully as Minister of Foreign Affairs calling on him to make a comment on this lack of progress," she said.

"Because it was already agreed. It is clear from the past year that there continue to large numbers of human rights abuses and there is a need for a fact finding mission. So we are going to push our government because they signed up to this, they should be standing up for it."

Meanwhile, hundreds of West Papuans have today been demonstrating again in Jayapura, Papua's provincial capital, calling for freedom from Indonesian rule.

Reports from Papuan media sources indicate Indonesian police arrested dozens of activists since the weekend for organising the demonstration.

One one day alone in early May, around 2000 Papuans were arrested for participation in another large demo.

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