3 Jun 2004

Human Rights Committee says NZ Government should warn Jakarta over expulsions

8:30 pm on 3 June 2004

The Indonesian Human Rights Group is asking the New Zealand government to speak out on the threats to human rights groups there.

Spokesperson Maire Leadbetter says Foreign Minister Phil Goff should condemn the threatened expulsion of the director of the International Crisis Group, Sidney Jones.

She says officials in Jakarta have denied Miss Jones the right to continue her work as an analyst and commentator on the human rights situation in Indonesia.

Maire Leadbetter says the human rights group, Elsham, a crucial fount of information for Papua province, has also been threatened.

"And I think it provides people in West Papua with an absolutely invaluable protection, because that's least one place where they can record what's happening to them, and one way in which what's happening to them in West Papua can be known to the outside world."

Maire Leadbetter says it's not the first time the Indonesian authorities have targeted Elsham, and its respected director, John Rumbiak, is living in exile because of threats made personally to him.