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Advocate urges PM to discuss West Papua issue with President Widodo

19 March 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

Human rights advocate Maire Leadbeater hopes Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will raise the plight of West Papuans when she meets the Indonesian President Joko Widodo today.

Maire Leadbeater. Photo/ RNZ.

President Widodo's visit marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Indonesia.

Ms. Leadbeater says she's not against trade or diplomatic relations with Indonesia but West Papuans continue to endure human rights atrocities every day.

"It's all very well to talk about our trade but we've got to weigh that up against the suffering of the people of West Papua that's been going on for the last 55 years," she says. 

"They're suffering a human rights tragedy everyday. It's impossible for our Prime Minister to meet with the President of Indonesia and not raise these things."

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. Photo/ Reuters.

Tags: politics, West Papua,