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Green MP 'stands in' for West Papuan prisoners

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty will tomorrow lend her support to the international day of action for West Papuan prisoners.

Ms Delahunty will participate in a vigil at lunchtime outside the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to highlight the many injustices that are currently occurring in Indonesian-controlled West Papua.

According to data from Papuans Behind Bars, the number of political arrests in Indonesian-controlled West Papua more than doubled in 2013 as compared with the previous year, and reports of torture and ill-treatment of political detainees have also increased.

Participants - such as Ms Delahunty - will be ‘standing in’ for Papuan political prisoners, and will be cuffed and gagged.

"New Zealanders need to be aware of the many human rights violations that are occurring in our region," Ms Delahunty said.

"In Indonesian-controlled West Papua, simple acts such as raising the West Papuan Morning Star flag can result in lengthy jail terms.

"We need to keep advancing human rights issues with Indonesia if we are to have a peaceful and stable Aotearoa/New Zealand and region.

"West Papua is an issue that we as a nation could do far more on.

"A good start would be the New Zealand Government cancelling any support and training for the West Papuan Police force until all political prisoners currently held are freed."

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