6 Dec 2010

Rapa Nui activist in coma after clashes with Chile police

4:19 pm on 6 December 2010

An activist fighting for the rights of Rapa Nui's indigenous people says one man has been in a coma, another has been jailed on Easter Island without treatment for his injuries and another had internal bleeding after Friday's clashes with Chilean police.

Police used rubber bullets and rocks were thrown as troops tried to evict native Rapa Nui from buildings they've been occupying for several months in their fight to claim back ancestral lands.

New York-based Susana Hitorangi says her injured husband Santi Hitorangi has been in Rapa Nui to support his family with their claim and he fears he is a target of the authorities.

"He was acting as a reporter. He was filming what was going on and they shot him while he was filming and they obviously shot him as he was going away because they shot him in the back."

Susana Hitorangi says the weekend arrival on Rapa Nui of Chilean senator and human rights activist Juan Pablo Letelier gives her some hope tension on the island will ease.