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NZ must not strengthen military ties with Indonesia

8 September 2011

NZ must not strengthen military ties with Indonesia

New Zealand must stop moves to strengthen bi-lateral defence ties with Indonesia while human rights abuses by the Indonesian military continue in West Papua, Green MP Catherine Delahunty said today.

New Zealand intends to strengthen bilateral defence links with Indonesia over the next year. It is likely Indonesia will renew its participation in the New Zealand Defence Force’s Mutual Assistance Programme.

“New Zealand should not be cosying up to the Indonesian military given its record of human rights abuses in West Papua,” said Ms Delahunty.

“Last year Indonesian soldiers were caught on camera torturing indigenous West Papuan citizens.

“Our Government needs to strongly condemn these human rights abuses and take practical steps to show Indonesia that this behaviour is not acceptable.”

Ms Delahunty considered New Zealand should play a role in the process of peaceful dialogue between West Papuan representatives and the Indonesian Government.

“United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this week called for the human rights of the people of West Papua to be respected,” said Ms Delahunty.

“New Zealand must assist this call by working with the Indonesian government to advance democracy and self-determination for the people of West Papua.

“We should not be engaging with the Indonesian military until this occurs,” said Ms Delahunty.

ENDS


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