The Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully should meet with and listen to the views of West Papuan leader Benny Wenda, Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said today.
Mr McCully advised National MPs not to support a forum at Parliament which would have had Mr Wenda as the key speaker. The Speaker of Parliament David Carter later refused permission for the forum.
"The Government’s current policy of only dealing with Indonesia when raising human rights in West Papua means the voice of the indigenous people, the West Papuans, are missing from the dialogue," said Ms Delahunty.
"Mr McCully’s advice to Government MPs to avoid a forum aiming to highlight human rights abuses by the Indonesian Government in West Papua reflects poorly on him and the current policies of the Key Government.
"Stopping Mr Wenda from having a platform to speak at Parliament sends the message that freedom of speech is being sacrificed in order to placate a trading partner," said Ms Delahunty.
"The Government and the Minister of Foreign Affairs should reconsider how they deal with Indonesia, and stop providing military and police training to Indonesian forces while human rights abuses are occurring in our backyard."