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Calls for NZ govt to condemn charges against West Papuan activist

Radio New Zealand - March 1, 2022

The West Papua Action Aotearoa is calling on the New Zealand Government to condemn the charges of treason brought against West Papuan activist Victor Yeimo.

Mr Yeimo was charged with treason last week for participating in an anti racism protest in August 2019.

West Papua Action Aotearoa spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said Mr Yeimo's only crime was to stand up against the abuse of West Papuan students in Indonesia.

Ms Delahunty said her group is asking Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta to stand up for human rights in our neighbourhood.

She said the case has attracted a strong response from UN Special Rapporteurs, but the New Zealand Government only said it is 'concerned' and that its officials will 'raise the case'.

The human rights defender is the leader of the pro-independence West Papua National Committee of KNPB.

His trial was to be held in August last year but was delayed because he was seriously ill.

Mr Yeimo remains under treatment for serious respiratory illness.

The West Papua Action Aotearoa said it believes that the Indonesian authorities are attempting to criminalise a leading activist whose record shows that he has always been dedicated to peaceful methods of protest, including making representations to the UN Human Rights Council.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/462422/calls-for-nz-govt-to-condemn-charges-against-west-papuan-activis