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Home » , , , , , , » Green MP calls on NZ to pull out community police from West Papua

Green MP calls on NZ to pull out community police from West Papua

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on October 29, 2011 | 5:41 AM

Papua mine protest
West Papuan miners at Freeport-McMoRan protest over wages and working conditions in a recent rally outside the local parliament in Tinika. Photo: Pacific Scoop
Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the PMC news desk
Green MP Catherine Delahunty has called on New Zealand to recall its community police unit from the Indonesian-ruled territory of West Papua, saying the training programme has been compromised by the brutal suppression of self-determination.
She told an Australian international radio programme yesterday that she would call on Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully to review the “whole scheme” because Papuan human rights had been undermined in the past few weeks.

At least six people were killed in last week’s crushing of the Third Papuan People’s Congress by military and paramilitary police forces in the capital Jayapura following weeks of unrest at the giant US-owned Freeport-McMoRan gold and copper mine near Timika.
Catherine Delahunty
Green MP Catherine Delahunty ... calls for a Bougainville-style peace approach to West Papua. Photo: Pacific Scoop
“We are validating an invalid situation, we are giving credence and credibility to a police force that are actively attacking their own citizens,” Delahunty told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme.
“We know that torture and abuses by both the police and military are now commonplace and have been for sometime and we cannot say that New Zealand’s involvement is reducing the impact of those injustices.
“There is no evidence to suggest we’re making anything better, so we should be brave enough to say so.”
‘Flawed argument’
In response to a question by interviewer Bruce Hill that if Australia and New Zealand did not work with Indonesian security forces, the situation would not get better, Delahunty replied:
“I think that’s a very flawed argument and avoids the real issue, which is Australia and New Zealand can make things better when their governments challenge Indonesia to work towards peace, through a peace dialogue.
“Small community and policing initiatives on the ground help to whitewash the fact that the Indonesians are operating a regime in West Papua which is unjust, illegal and unsustainable and that we are allowing them to continue in our name.”
Delahunty contrasted NZ policy over West Papua with its positive contribution to peace in Bougainville and an end to the decade-long civil war.
“The New Zealand government could play a very positive role and a real leadership role,” she said.
“We know that they have prioritised trade over human rights and justice. We are going to call on them to take leadership so that we can hold our heads up in this region and be a country that has in the past shown real leadership to create peace dialogue.
“That’s what the people of West Papua want, they want a peace dialogue, they want international support from Australia and New Zealand and it’s not much to ask to call on human rights, an end to torture and for discussions between Indonesia and West Papuan leaders.”
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