The Green Party is today calling on the Government to end their $6.3 million police training programme in West Papua in light of new evidence from a New Zealand journalist about abuses being carried out by the police.
Journalist and academic Paul Bensemann travelled to West Papua undercover in 2013 and spoke with West Papuan people about the effects of the programme so far. His findings have been published today.
“This new evidence strengthens our concern that the New Zealand police training programme in West Papua has done nothing to make West Papuan citizens safer and needs to end,” Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said.
“Paul Bensemann found evidence that police violence continues to be a norm and it’s shocking that as a country we are funding a programme that some Papuans refer to as ‘aid that kills’.
“Our aid reputation is at stake when we collude with a police state by training their police force that regularly kill citizens.
“Our $6.3 million should be redirected into New Zealand mediating for peace between West Papuan leaders and Indonesia.
“It is so difficult to monitor an aid programme operating in a country where there is no free press and foreign journalists have to pretend to be birdwatchers to investigate the truth about what West Papuans think of our training programme.
“I am calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to stop the police training programme immediately and to redirect resources into peace mediation between the Indonesian Government and West Papuan leaders.
“Not only is our reputation as a country committed to effective and ethical aid programmes at stake, we are also colluding with a brutal police force within a police and military occupied country.
“West Papuans are asking us to stop funding this programme and supporting their violent police, we need to do so now.”
01/25/2014 – 00:00