World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Rights group skeptical about Vanstone impartiality

WA Rights group remains skeptical about Vanstone's Papuan refugee assessment impartiality promise

WA Rights group Project SafeCom remains skeptical over Immigration Minister Vanstone's statements this morning that relationships with Indonesia will not influence the asylum claim assessments of the boatload of Papua New Guineans that arrived at Weipa yesterday.

Spokesman Jack Smit said, that for the last 44 years, since the Dutch government relinquished control of Irian Jaya, the Indonesian government has undermined independent thinking and acts of independence of Irian Jaya, even while the treaty signed with Indonesia in 1962 gave an undertaking of independence of religion for its population, aspects brought forward by the then Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Luns of the Netherlands.

Mr Smit grew up in The Netherlands and was closely linked to developments at the time, also because Dutch protestant churches - who had a strong presence in West Papua through missionary work - had an interest in freedom of religion in Irian Jaya when the Dutch signed over governance to the Sukarno regime, but within two years Sukarno announced the Pantja Sila, a five-rule dictum which basically forced Muslim religion on the inhabitants of West Irian.

"Indonesia has always manipulated Irian Jaya's freedoms, and it started when the socalled delegation of Irian Jaya representatives who signed the tripartite deal between Indonesia and the Dutch in reality consisted of Sukarno supporters instead of representatives from the mountainous regions of West Papua. Indonesia could do this because most of the tribal chiefs at the time were nearly illiterate," Mr Smit said.

"Yesterday we witnessed the first dismissal on the part of Indonesia when a government spokesman called the asylum claims "baseless", and we will see much more of this spin. It remains to be seen whether foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer, the Prime Minister John Howard, and indeed the Immigration Minister will open up about Indonesia's serious human rights abuses in the region."

"It also remains to be seen whether once again we will see a Primary decision-makers error rate of 75% as was the case with the Afghans and Iraqis, and the 100% error rate as was the case with the Vietnamese who landed right inside the Port Hedland harbour two years ago," Mr Smit concluded.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news