Violence in New Caledonia: Christian Tein Calls Himself Political Prisoner

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.02 - 2024 10:58 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Tein has been held in detention in Mulhouse, France, for a week.

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Christian Tein, the Kanak spokesperson for the Coordination Unit of Field Actions in New Caledonia, made a bold statement on Monday, asserting that he is a political prisoner.

According to 20minutes Tein has been held in detention in Mulhouse, France, for a week, accused of orchestrating disturbances against electoral reforms in New Caledonia.

Despite his imprisonment, he received an unexpected visit from two Green Party senators, observed by a journalist from Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace.

Challenges and Controversies Surrounding Tein's Detention

Tein, aged 56, recounted his experience of being moved from police custody in Nouméa to isolation in Mulhouse, under judicial decision.

He denies accusations of inciting violence but acknowledges the need for calm amidst media attention.

Denied regular visits, Tein attempts to maintain a semblance of normalcy by watching TV and staying informed, even voting by proxy during elections.

Unrest and Consequences in New Caledonia

The unrest in New Caledonia, sparked by constitutional reforms affecting the electoral body, has led to significant upheaval.

Authorities report 1,520 arrests, including eleven independence activists on June 19th. Nine of them, deemed high-risk, remain in provisional detention across various French prisons.

The violence, the deadliest in the archipelago since the 1980s, resulted in nine deaths and extensive property damage, highlighting ongoing tensions and the urgent need for dialogue to ensure New Caledonia's future stability.