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MP 'trapped' in Nauru battles to return to New Zealand

A Nauruan politician fighting to return to his family in New Zealand says he has been left in limbo after having his passport taken away.

Opposition MP Roland Kun was pulled off a New Zealand-bound plane by Nauru officials on June 17 and had his passport cancelled.

It followed the arrest of three other opposition MPs after a protest at Nauru's parliament.

The arrests have sparked international criticism of Nauru's government.

Mr Kun told NZ Newswire he had yet to be charged with any crimes and was trapped in Nauru with little explanation from the government.

"They're adamant I was involved in the protest. I was not involved in the protest. I don't know where they're coming with that or what they propose to do with their allegations," he said.

He said he had been given a "vague" letter saying he was being investigated, but it did not specify what for.

He was appealing the cancellation of his passport and had a court date set down for July 8, he said.

"I think it's likely I'll succeed. They really did not have any reasons for cancelling my passport," Mr Kun said.

"I want to be with my family. I know that my family are missing me and it is becoming very difficult."

He said the lack of information being circulated by the government was deeply frustrating and reports in local media were "nonsense".

Mr Kun's partner, Katy Le Roy, was last year fired as the island nation's parliamentary counsel and had her residence status revoked in what Mr Kun called a personal attack.

She now lives in Wellington with the couple's three children and is banned from travelling to Nauru.

One of the three MPs arrested last week for disturbing the parliament, Mathew Batsiua, is out on bail on the condition he does not speak to media, while the other two are waiting to see if their remand will be extended.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully yesterday said he wanted a meeting with Nauru government representatives.

The New Zealand government is the principal funder of Nauru's justice sector and a group of 29 legal scholars have written to Mr McCully urging him to take action.

Last year, the Nauruan government forced the island's then-only judge out of office and suspended most of the opposition from parliament indefinitely.

Local media are prohibited from speaking to the opposition and citizens have been stopped from accessing Facebook.

The Nauruan government has called the protests a "riot" during which windows at the parliament were broken.

Nauru MP Roland Kun


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