5 May 2016

NZ govt concerned about human rights abuses in Papua

7:13 pm on 5 May 2016

The New Zealand government has reiterated its concerns about human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully

Foreign Minister Murray McCully Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

On Monday as many as 1,700 people were arrested in demonstrations across all of the main Papuan cities.

The demonstrations were in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua's bid to be a full member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, as well as the International Parliamentarians for West Papua summit held in London this week.

Responding to questions in parliament today from opposition Green MP Catherine Delahunty about ongoing human rights abuses the Foreign Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand had always been concerned about the situation in West Papua.

" I have been following the reports of arrests with some interest. The government is concerned about these matters and the government wants to see an improvement in the situation in that part of the world. The government does not believe that megaphone diplomacy will serve that objective."

Earlier this week the government blocked a motion by Ms Delahunty which was to have asked New Zealand's parliament to support the call by the International Parliamentarians for West Papua for a referendum on self-determination in Papua.

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