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Caritas Calls NZ Government to Engage on West Papu

MEDIA RELEASE – fOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 June 2006

Caritas Calls NZ Government to Engage on West Papua

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, the Catholic agency for justice, peace and development, is calling for the New Zealand Government to support Indonesia in dealing with human rights abuses in West Papua.

Caritas CEO, Michael Smith, says, “We’ve received very concerning information of ongoing human rights abuses from our development partner in West Papua.”

Recent abuses reported by Caritas’ development partner, SKP[1] include arbitrary arrest, torture, lack of proper legal representation, and lack of medical attention.

“It is time for the New Zealand government to engage with Indonesia to raise its concerns about human rights abuses. The government needs to support the Indonesian government to further develop policing and judicial processes that will be both just and transparent and will protect the rights of all Indonesians, including West Papuans,” says Michael Smith.

SKP has a sound reputation in impartial reporting on human rights abuses by all involved parties.

“This evidence cannot be ignored. The break down of community and trust in West Papua should be of concern to all. We don’t want another East Timor,” says Michael Smith.

ENDS

All Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand media releases are available on http://www.caritas.org.nz

[1] SKP, ‘Sekretariat Keadilan dan Perdamaian’ (the Office of Justice and Peace) is a Catholic human rights group and a member of the International Faith Based Network on West Papua.

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