Pacific Media Watch

30 July 2014

REGION: Greens call for 'media freedom' in West Papua - new seminar flagged


WELLINGTON (Pacific Media Watch): Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty put a "genuine media freedom" in West Papua motion before the New Zealand Parliament today while visiting Jayapura journalist Victor Mambor was speaking in Welington and will be keynote speaker at a "shame" conference in Auckland this weekend.

In a motion without notice, parliamentarians supported Delahunty's call for the "right of local and international journalists to report on the political situation there without risk of imprisonment or harassment" by the ruling state of Indonesia.

The weekend seminar, entitled "West Papua: The Pacific's Secret Shame", has been organised by West Papua Action Auckland.

Mambor, 39, is editor of the Jayapura-based newspaper and website Tabloid Jubi, and chairperson of West Papua’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI). He is thought to be the first West Papuan journalist ever to visit New Zealand.

Paula Makabory, a Melbourne-based West Papuan human rights activist, will also give an address.

The seminar also features independent journalist Paul Bensemann, who reported from West Papua last year; Maire Leadbeater of West Papua Action Auckland, Joe Collins from the Australian West Papuan Association; and Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie, who will speak on West Papua and the media.

Dr Elizabeth Stanley will speak about the long line of repression and impunity from the former East Timor to West Papua, while political parties are expected to send foreign affairs spokespersons to outline their policies on West Papua.

Radio New Zealand International journalist Johnny Blades will speak via a video link while the SBS documentary West Papua’s New Dawn? will be screened to close the conference.

The seminar will be held at the Stone Lecture Theatre, Level 3, at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Law and will be chaired by Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC) activist Kevin McBride.

Seminar programme

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