11 Oct 2010

Chile commission to meet on Easter Island amid Rapa Nui land dispute

11:11 am on 11 October 2010

The human rights commission of Chile's parliament has decided to hold a special meeting on Easter Island to look into the grievances expressed by the indigenous Rapa Nui people.

The commission's move comes as a group of Rapa Nui keeps occupying a hotel to back claims for the return of ancestral land taken illegally.

A protection order has been filed with the Washington-based Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, which has put the government of Chile on notice.

The parliamentary commission has asked the public prosecutor to explain why police last month proceeded with the eviction of a Rapa Nui family although no official order had been issued.

One of the commission members, Cristina Girardi, says Chile has ratified the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, which means any violation could cause an international incident.