The Rapa Nui people have been fighting for self-determination since the Chilean annexation in 1888.
Rapa Nui culture and heritage are known around the world, especially the statues or Moai and the ahus, which are the sacred burial places of the Rapa Nui people, and they are a part of the cultural heritage of humanity.
Unchecked Chilean immigration to the island has become unsustainable due to limited natural resources on the island. Making matters worse, Chilean authorities have not adequately preserved the ancestral sites.
On March 25, 2015 the Rapa Nui Parliament took control of their ancestral sites and cemeteries.
The President and Vice President of the duly elected Rapa Nui Parliament were arrested and placed under restraining order on Aug. 15, 2015. Additional arrests took place on Aug. 26, 2015, after Rapa Nui leaders protested against an illegal search of the Rapa Nui Parliament offices. Eliza Riroroko was arrested on Easter Island and her father, Matias Riroroko, was taken into custody in Santiago, Chile. The President of the Rapa Nui Parliament, Leviante Araki, was arrested again on Aug. 27, when he attempted to enter a Rapa Nui sacred site.
Rapa Nui leaders have expressed concern that the Chilean government is working to disable the Rapa Nui Parliament by arresting and jailing its members.
We are asking the Inter-American Commission on Human Right to issue precautionary measures requesting Chile to take steps to safeguard the human rights of the Rapa Nui people.
In 2010, precautionary measures were granted because of the violence the Chilean army perpetrated on the unarmed Rapa Nui people.
Please email the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, asking to stop the arrests, intimidation, and harassment of the Rapa Nui people and leaders who are seeking to protect their ancestral sites. The Rapa Nui leaders ask that Chile engage in transparent, open and inclusive, as well as, conclusive negotiations, immediately. Please send copies to the contacts at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights listed below.
Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile, in care of her advisor Cynthia Maira - Cmaira@presidencia.cl
Mr. Antti Korkeakivi, Chief of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - firstname.lastname@example.org
Juan Núñez, Associate Human Rights Officer at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - email@example.com