Locke criticises Govt. on lack of protest over Jakarta detention

Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke today criticised the New Zealand Government for not making any political protest over the detention of Kiwi Maire Leadbeater in Jakarta.

“If a New Zealand delegate to an Asian Development Bank meeting had been treated in this way I am sure there would have been an immediate protest,” he said.

“But because Maire was at a conference critical of corporate globalisation she hasn’t had the same political backing.

“I appreciate that our embassy people in Jakarta have given her personal support and assistance but this cannot substitute for an official Government response to the outrageous behaviour of the Indonesian police.

“I admit to having a vested interest in that Maire is my sister but no New Zealander should be put through such interrogation for no reason at all,” said Mr Locke.

Mr Locke said there is nothing in Indonesian law or in commonly accepted democratic principles that stop such conferences being held or for overseas visitors to attend them.

“If New Zealand is to assist the democratisation of Indonesian society it cannot turn the other cheek when a legitimate conference is closed down anda New Zealand delegate is arrested,” he said.

Keith Locke has been in Australia with the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committee. He arrives back in Auckland at 4pm today.

Keith Locke

Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719