29 Dec 2010

Tahiti politician calls for French response to Easter Island

1:59 pm on 29 December 2010

A French Polynesian member of the French senate has expressed concern about the recent violence on Chile's Easter Island.

More than 20 indigenous Rapa Nui were injured when special forces removed them from public buildings they had occupied as part of long-running land claims.

Walter Zweifel reports.

"Richard Tuheiava of the pro-independence Tavini Huiraatira Party has told the newspaper Les Nouvelles de Tahiti that the French foreign minister should adopt diplomatic measures. Earlier this month, his party expressed surprise that soldiers used arms against indigenous civilians when Chile is a democratic country that has known the horrors of a dictatorship. The president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, defended the eviction of Rapa Nui, saying it was the state's duty to uphold the law. Amnesty International took note of the evictions and called on the Chilean authorities to ensure the use of appropriate force in all law operations."