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Tongan elite breach international obligations

Tongan elite breach international obligations

"The Tongan King's hand-picked men in Parliament have shown their contempt for their own people by passing a law that muzzles media freedom, " Matt Robson said today.

"But the Tongan people through last week's massive protest march, public meetings, petitions and through church leaders have shown that they want a democratic country where everyone has a fair go," Matt Robson said.

"New Zealand should practically demonstrate that it is on the side of democratic rights for all Tongans," the Progressive Party deputy leader said.

"Our military cooperation with a force that is unnecessary for Tonga's defence, and is clearly just there as the strong-arm of the elite, should cease," he said.

"And our development assistance should only go to democratically-run grassroots organisations."

"I believe the New Zealand government should condemn this press muzzling law in the strongest terms and refer this breach of the Commonwealth Harare Declaration to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

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