Government must address West Papua human rights abuses on Indonesia visit

John Key’s trade mission to Indonesia needs to address the ongoing crackdown on human rights in West Papua, the Green Party said today. 

John Key’s trade mission to Indonesia needs to address the ongoing crackdown on human rights in West Papua, the Green Party said today.

 

The Prime Minister will be visiting Indonesia to have formal talks with President Joko Widodo in July on building trade and economic links, but there is no mention of discussions on the political situation in West Papua.

 

“The complete absence of human rights in John Key’s agenda for talks with Indonesian President Widodo is particularly damning given that a schoolboy was shot by military police in West Papua only last week,” said Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty.

 

“John Key should urge President Widodo to stop talking about a more democratic approach and start acting on it, starting with a commitment to end military and police abuses, political detention and state-sanctioned killings in West Papua.

 

“National’s refusal to talk about human rights with Indonesia is a shameful stain on our reputation as a good global citizen and member of the United Nations Security Council.

 

“We should be joining other members of the Pacific Island Forum such as Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands in drawing attention to the plight of the people of West Papua and calling for an end to human rights abuses.

 

“If Indonesia’s trade partners, including New Zealand, would make improvement on human rights a precondition to trade relationships, the pressure on the Indonesian government would force them to act.

 

“John Key needs to stop just paying lip service to human rights and stand by the principles that New Zealand is known for,” said Ms Delahunty.

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