RAPA NUI ACTIVIST ON HUNGER STRIKE OVER REPRESSION

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Refers to Chile’s President as a dictator

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 5, 2011) – Reports from Santiago sat a leading Rapa Nui activist has begun a hunger strike in the Chilean capital in protest at the latest evictions on Easter Island.

Erity Teave, who is the Human Rights spokesperson of the so-called Rapa Nui Parliament, has likened the president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, to a dictator after continued police actions to remove Rapa Nui from premises they claim as ancestral lands.

Mr. Pinera had defended the use of special police forces, saying it was the state’s duty to uphold the law and to maintain public order.

[PIR editor’s note: On December 29, after months of increased tension, Chilean police violently removed protestors from the central Government Plaza in Rapa Nui. Dozens were reportedly injured and the actions have drawn condemnation from Chile’s National Human Rights Institute.]

But Ms. Teave has told the Mexican news agency, Notimex that she will be on hunger strike until she has been received by Parliament to present her demands.

She says her people are exposed to inconceivable repression and described the police actions as atrocities and terrorism.

Ms. Teave says she expects the dispute between the Rapa Nui and the state of Chile will be resolved through the Inter American Commission of Human Rights.

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