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Goff seeks explanation over detention of NZer


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

11 June 2001

Goff seeks explanation over detention of New Zealander in Indonesia


Foreign Minister Phil Goff welcomed the release of Maire Leadbeater and acknowledged the efforts of the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta made on her behalf.

Ms Leadbeater had her passport returned by Indonesian officials and was free to return to New Zealand.

"The incident however raises serious issues of concern which can be taken up with the Indonesians now that Ms Leadbeater's personal situation has been resolved.

"Critics of the government action in Jakarta state that the conference organisers had a permit and observed the rules in organising it. Immigration officials in Jakarta are also being quoted as not understanding why the police failed to involve them if immigration infringements were indeed the cause of their concern.

"I want answers as to why was a New Zealand citizen detained and why was the conference she was attending broken up by the action of armed police?

"I am concerned by allegations that local Indonesian people attending the conference were assaulted and if this was the case want to know what action will be taken against those responsible.

"Most importantly, why in a democratic country have people's rights to free association, assembly and speech apparently been abridged?

"I have asked our Embassy for a full report on the events of the past weekend and will be asking the Indonesian Government formally for an explanation and justification of their actions," Mr Goff said.

ENDS



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