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Govt should stop police funding in West Papua

1 December 2013

Govt should stop police funding in West Papua

The Green Party is calling on the Government to cancel police and military ties with the Indonesian regime in West Papua on a day of international action in support of West Papuan independence from Indonesia. 

Today is the 51st anniversary of the West Papuan declaration of independence from Dutch rule. In 1961, the people first raised their 'Morning Star' national flag which has since become a symbol of resistance. Citizens who raise this flag in West Papua risk 15 years imprisonment.

“New Zealand’s ongoing support of the brutal Indonesian occupation of West Papua does not square with our support of human rights internationally,” said Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty.

“This week in West Papua, a peaceful protest was attacked by a combined military and police operation with one man killed and several others missing as well as a number of people arrested and beaten.

“The Government can provide no evidence that New Zealand’s police training courses in West Papua have improved the situation there. Instead we are tarnishing are our international reputation by working alongside a violent police force.

"Pilot community police projects in Papua and West Papua in 2009 and 2010 didn't change the reality of what is happening there. The situation remains highly oppressive for West Papuans.

“We are fooling ourselves if we think that some funding for community police projects will have any impact on Indonesia’s violent suppression of the West Papuan independence movement.

“In October, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced that New Zealand would provide a further $6.34 million for a three-year community policing programme in Indonesia. That is money that will be used to supress human rights in West Papua.

“It is time for us to cancel military and police ties with Indonesia in West Papua and push urgently for a peace process and an end to the current violence.”

ENDS

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