20 Jun 2012

New Zealand rally in support of West Papuans

2:40 pm on 20 June 2012

A letter calling on the Indonesian government to end oppression in West Papua has been presented to the Indonesian Embassy in New Zealand.

The rally at the embassy in Wellington was organised in response to recent violence in Jayapura, including the fatal shooting of the pro-independence leader Mako Tabuni.

A Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty told the small gathering there is no legal case for the continued occupation of West Papua and that it's time human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces in the region are exposed.

"It's been time for 30 years that this issue stop being the dirty little secret of the Pacific and these people are our neighbours, they are not on the other side of the world. We all know that Syrians are suffering, the international media is in Syria but where are they in West Papua, why are they kept out, and why is no one asking any questions."

Catherine Delahunty says the New Zealand government should stop its training relationship with Indonesia's military and disinvest funds with Freeport, the huge mining company which she says is exploiting the people's resources.