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Protest in Hong Kong against the killing of Maori

Solidarity Protest in Hong Kong against the killing of Maori youth Stephen Wallace

News Release

May 5, 2000

Reference: Helen Te Hira Regional Secretary

ASA holds protest against murder of Maori youth in New Zealand

The Asian Students Association, together with members of peoples organizations and NGOs in Hong Kong, held a protest action inside the New Zealand Consulate to condemn the brutal killing of Stephen Wallace, a Maori youth, by the New Zealand Police. The protesters presented a letter signed by 14 regional and local groups in Hong Kong to New Zealand Consul General Dr. James Kember.

"The killing of the unarmed Wallace, deserves our most legitimate condemnation. We condemn the New Zealand Police oppressive racial attacks against Maori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa/ New Zealand. We condemn the New Zealand government for its inaction against these increasing cases of attacks," said Helen Te Hira, Regional Secretary of ASA from New Zealand.

She added that the ongoing investigation of the murder case being conducted by the New Zealand Police Authority is farcical for it is acting as the perpetrator, the prosecutor and the judge. This is the reason why there is an increasing clamor in New Zealand for the formation of an independent investigating body not only to look into the Wallace case but on the whole history of institutional violence and discrimination by the police against the Maori people.

"We are one with the Maori community and concerned people of New Zealand in mourning the senseless murder of Wallace. We are one with them in our indignation. We are one with them in our call for justice for Stephen Wallace and all victims of New Zealand state violence. We demand the immediate and appropriate actions against the guilty police officer. The death of Wallace is not an isolated incidence but an integral part of a whole system of discrimination and violence against Maori which must end," she concluded.

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Justice for Stephen Wallace! - End State Violence !

May 5 2000

To The New Zealand Government

C/o New Zealand Consulate General Hong Kong S.A.R

Last Sunday April 30, 2000 New Zealand police gunned down an unarmed Maori youth. Stephen Wallace was shot five times by the police and left unattended lying in the street for 20 minutes before being given medical attention, he later died in hospital due to the injuries he received. Mr Wallace had taken a baseball bat and damaged shop windows in the small town of Waitara where he was subsequently shot. The murder of this unarmed Maori youth hits deeply amongst Maori and non-Maori alike in New Zealand. It is the latest in daily experience of police violence against Maori individuals and communities.

Following this incident it has emerged the government of New Zealand has refused to make public it’s own reports commissioned since 1998 on the relationship of police with Maori. The report is said to confirm that the Police force is racist with strong anti-Maori attitudes and practices. Although the government goes to great pains to project New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific as a peaceful democratic society, it continues to hide behind the fist of the state. Police harassment and brutality is a part of the 160 years colonial legacy which continues up to the present day.

The police shooting is to be investigated by the Police Complaints Authority. However the authority cannot be expected to offer true justice as it places the police in the position of judge juror and witness.

We demand immediate action! Assembled here as international witnesses we:

1) Support the call for the creation of independent body to investigate the killing of Stephen Wallace and operations of the New Zealand Police force 2) Condemn the New Zealand Government for oppressing indigenous peoples through its racist police force

3) Express international solidarity and condolences for family of Steven Wallace and all other victims of violence administered at the hands of the NZ state.

Justice for Stephen Wallace!
Down with the Racist Police Force of New Zealand !
Uphold the Dignity and Rights of Indigenous People of Aotearoa!

Signed

Asian Monitor Resource Center (AMRC)
Asian Migrant Center (AMC)
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrant Filipinos (APMMF)
Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternative (ARENA)
Asian Students Association (ASA)
Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge
Documentation Action Group in Asia (DAGA)
Far East Overseas Nepalese Association (FEONA)
Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS)
Hong Kong Women Christian Council (HKWCC)
Hong Kong University Students Union (HKUSU)
Mission for Filipino Migrant Workers
Radical Society Aotearoa
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNFIL-HK)
Mary Ann King
Lucetta Kam
Jo Lee

ENDS

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