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Put West Papua On The Agenda
was Keith Locke’s call to the Prime Minister of the eve of the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland on August 14. “A Forum fact-finding delegation to West Papua would assist in developing an understanding of the human rights situation in that country, and what the Papuan people want.”
“The Forum could also take a lead in advancing the international campaign to get the United Nations to review the so-called 1969 Act of Free Choice, under which West Papua was unjustly incorporated into Indonesia. The Forum has a responsibility to address the plight of West Papuans, a Pacific Melanesian people who have been denied their national rights for so long. We don’t want to repeat the tragedy of East Timor, where New Zealand and other nations ignored the suffering of the people for so many years,” said Keith. Read
and see below under Action and Analysis.
Nuclear Powered Warships Still Not Safe
. We know that’s not news to you, but it was something Keith Locke had to remind US trade undersecretary Grant Aldonas on 12 August, after Mr Aldonas’ statement that the nuclear issue is a relic of the Cold War.
“Nuclear weapons and nuclear power didn’t suddenly become safe at the end of the Cold War,” said Keith. “So little progress has been made nuclear disarmament since the end of the Cold War that it is vital that countries like New Zealand maintain their anti-nuclear stance.” Read
was Keith Locke’s opinion of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, which was reported back to Parliament on 11 August. Keith warned that New Zealanders’ rights to protest and to strike could be threatened by provisions contained in the Bill.
“We shouldn’t give the police the extra powers contained in the bill, or expand the Crimes Act to enable advocates of non-violent protest to be jailed,” said Keith. “Amendments to criminal legislation, with no particular reference to terrorism, are being smuggled in under the guise of what is misleadingly called a ‘Counter-Terrorism’ bill…Anti-GE protesters could be the first target of another Crimes Act amendment prescribing up to seven years jail for anyone threatening actions causing ‘major economic loss to one or more persons’,” Keith pointed out. “Strikes could also be inhibited by this provision.” Read
Peace Action For West Papua
. Below under Analysis is a statement on what needs to be done to improve the West Papuan situation. You can also hear human rights activist John Rumbiak speak on the issue, and/or read the information the Act Now for West Papua page on the
Peace Movement Aotearoa website
and then write to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask that New Zealand draw regional and world attention to the ongoing Indonesian military operations in West Papua, the loss of life and the gross violations of human rights, and call for Indonesia to desist immediately.
John Rumbiak Speaking Tour
– Monday, 18 August, 7 pm, Athena College, 203 Willis Street. John Rumbiak, West Papuan Human Rights Advocate speaks following an introduction by Professor Rod Alley (Victoria University).
– Wednesday, 20 August, 7:30pm, 1st floor, Trade Union Centre, 199 Armagh Street.
– Thursday, 21 August, 7:30pm, the Octagon Seniors Club, 8 The Octagon.
Asylum For Ahmed
Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui has been granted refugee status in New Zealand by the Refugee Status Appeal Authority (RSAA), but he is still being detained in Paremoremo prison on the basis of a security risk certificate issued by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS). The SIS will not make the information it holds on Mr Zaoui public, nor will it make it available to Mr Zaoui or his lawyers. Therefore it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Mr Zaoui may be found ‘guilty’ by the SIS on the basis of false information supplied by the regime in Algeria, which will in all probability torture and kill him if he is deported back to his homeland.
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Amnesty International (NZ)
, and the
Anglican Social Justice Commission
all have good further information on Zaoui’s case.
Solidarity With West Papua
. What kind of help do the West Papuans want? The statement below, from the fourth International Solidarity Meeting for West Papua (Southern Hemisphere Component) held in Otara, 8 – 10 August 2003, outlines what is needed.
West Papua: The Forgotten Pacific Country
The international solidarity movement for West Papua, meeting in Otara, Tamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa (New Zealand) from 8-10 August, calls upon the members of the Pacific Islands Forum to remember the unresolved tragedy of the Pacific people of West Papua when they meet in Auckland later this week.
The movement urges Forum leaders to grant West Papua observer status as a step to resuming its role in Pacific regional affairs, a right denied to the West Papua people for the past forty years.
It welcomes the Forum’s previous expressions of concern about the human situation in West Papua, but urges the Forum leaders to take further action in response to the deteriorating situation in the territory and the targeting of human rights defenders.
The solidarity movement calls upon the Forum leaders to send a fact-finding mission to West Papua to investigate the human rights situation there and to press Forum dialogue partner Indonesia to:
- end military operations in West Papua, start the process of de-militarisation and halt the activities of Laskar Jihad and all militia forces;
- renew efforts to resolve the conflict by peaceful means in accordance with the call by the people of West Papua for their country to be made a Land of Peace;
- ensure the safety and protection of all human right defenders, enabling them to carry out their activities without intimidation or obstruction;
- bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes committed in West Papua, including the killing of Papuan leader Theys Eluay in November 2001.
The movement strongly urges the Forum members to condemn the violations against West Papuan women and children as a result of the Indonesian militarisation of the territory. The Forum should resolve to end all forms of military cooperation with Indonesia, including the training of military personnel.
The movement further condemns the systematic destruction of the environment and cultural structures of the West Papuan people, and calls on Forum leaders to address the dire humanitarian situation of West Papuan refugees in Papua New Guinea and to take steps to protect their legal and human rights.
Recognising that the root cause of the human rights problems in West Papua is the fraudulent Act of ‘Free’ Choice, which was part of an attempt to legitimise the take over of West Papua by Indonesia in 1969, the solidarity movement urges the Forum to support widespread demands for the United Nations to review its conduct at the time and for West Papua to be reinstated on the agenda of the UN Decolonisation Committee.
JustPeace was produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP
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