19 Jul 2007

Human rights group restates NZ need to raise abuses in Indonesia's Papua

1:37 pm on 19 July 2007

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee has urged New Zealand's Prime Minister to do more to raise the country's concerns about human rights issues in Papua province.

Helen Clark is visiting Indonesia where she met Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Committee's Maire Leadbetter says she hopes Miss Clark took the opportunity to appeal to Mr Yudhoyono to lift the secrecy surrounding Papua.

Ms Leadbetter says human rights abuses are ongoing in the province and need investigating.

She says that it's critical that Miss Clark raise these issues with Indonesia's President.

"Because if not New Zealand, then who really? I do think we have to keep remembering that West Papua is our Pacific neighbour and does really look to New Zealand as a country with a commitment to human rights and justice, to stand up for them, and this is a really critical moment."

Maire Leadbetter of the New Zealand-based Indonesia Human Rights Committee