Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


West Papuan freedom fighter blocked from NZ Parliament

West Papuan freedom fighter blocked from NZ Parliament

Parliament's new Speaker is embroiled in his first fight, before he's even had a full day in the debating chamber.

West Papuan freedom fighter Benny Wenda is on his way to New Zealand, and while he's spoken at parliaments around the world, he won't be allowed to here.

Mr Wenda is a colourful character. He starts his talks with a traditional greeting, and then a song. He's done this all around the world – at the British Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, and even the United Nations.

But Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says he’s being blocked from talking here.

“Benny Wenda has spoken at many parliaments around the world, but it appears the New Zealand Parliament will shut its doors.”

Mr Wenda says the people of West Papua have suffered atrocities at the hands of the Indonesian military.

In 2002 he was arrested for promoting independence. A year later he escaped prison and fled to the United Kingdom, where he was granted political asylum.

In 2011 Interpol issued a red alert at the request of the Indonesian government. But last year, after an investigation, that was removed. It was deemed to be politically motivated.

The Greens, Labour and Mana applied to the new speaker David Carter to have a function here, in the west foyer, but that was refused.
Click here to find out more!

Labour MP Maryan Street says the decision goes against the spirit of Parliament.

“Parliament is exactly the place where people's points of view should be aired,” she says.

In the past, Parliament has been used for everything from Ahmed Zaoui's book launch, to a wedding.

But the Greens say the Government doesn't want to upset the Indonesians, a big trading partner.

“I think it's pretty clear the Foreign Affairs Minister has had some influence on this decision,” says Mr Norman.

Mr Wenda will bring with him West Papua human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson – most famous for being Julian Assange's legal advisor.

The function will now be held across the road from Parliament.

The Speaker's office, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs wouldn't be interviewed for this story.

3 News was simply told the function didn't meet the guidelines. There was no further explanation.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news