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Ministers condemned for failing to meet Papuan journalist

West Papua Action Auckland,

Box 68419,

Newton.

29 July 2014

Media Release: Ministers condemned for failing to meet Papuan journalist.

West Papua Action Auckland is shocked that that Ministers Coleman and Tolley have decided against giving even a brief time to meet with visiting Papuan journalist Victor Mambor (Chair of the Papua Chapter of the Association of Independent Journalists , AJI).

New Zealand has military training ties to the Indonesian military and recently piloted training programmes for the police in West Papua. So Ministers Coleman and Tolley who have Defence and Police responsibilities should not pass up this priceless opportunity to meet with a key observer and commentator on events in Indonesian controlled West Papua.

Victor is among the most influential journalists in West Papua. He operates as a mediating influence between Indonesian authorities and the leadership of Papuan groups. This year Victor made a powerful impact at the UN Human Rights Council and before the European Parliament as he advocated for a free press, justice and human rights in his homeland.

West Papua is largely closed to the outside world but in the internet age there is abundant documentation of police and military abuses. Security forces continue to operate with ruthless impunity and arrests for raising a flag or calling for an election boycott are commonplace.

In a recent Herald article by journalist Paul Bensemann, Victor described our proposal to give aid to the West Papuan police as "aid that kills" link below:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11191626

Our Government decided to back Indonesia fifty years ago when it assumed control of the territory against the wishes of the Papuan people. It is well past time for us to listen to independent Papuan voices.


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