23 Jun 2014

PCC media man followed by Fiji police over West Papua views

6:50 am on 23 June 2014

A spokeman for the Pacific Conference of Churches in Fiji says he was followed by special police for the duration of last week's Pacific Islands Development Forum because of his organisation's vocal stance on West Papua.

The Inaugural Pacific Islands development Forum, 2013

The inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum, 2013 Photo: RNZ

Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhyono, was the keynote speaker at last week's forum meeting in Nadi.

Indonesia has been engaged in a decades-long conflict with groups fighting for independence in West Papua, which was controversially annexed by Jakarta in the 1960s.

Netani Rika says he travelled to Nadi last week for matters unrelated to the PIDF, but he says he was informed by staff at the hotel he was staying at that police had visited several times to see where he was.

"I arrived on Tuesday night and went to a hotel and was told by the staff there that police had been around looking for me earlier in the evening, the next morning I had a visit again, twice on Wednesday and then one again on Thursday night. Apparently the policeman who spoke to the hotel staff said it was due to my being vocal about the West Papua issue."

Netani Rika says he went to the police station to ask for an explanation, but received none.