An unknown man set himself on fire in front of the New Zealand Parliament on September 21. Eyewitnesses of the incident could bring down the flames with water and jackets and called for an ambulance. The victim was taken to hospital in critical condition. Eyewitnesses said that the man was standing near the parliament for several days holding a poster in defence of the fathers, who were deprived of their children.
A representative of the Wellington Emergency Management Office confirmed that the man was taken to the ER department of Wellington Hospital in critical condition.
The police cordoned off the lawn in front of the parliament building. One of the eyewitnesses said that passers-by who witnessed the act of self-immolation were "just standing" at first, being unable to realise what was happening before their eyes. Then someone rushed to help the man to bring down the flames with a jacket. A few moments later, people with buckets of water came up running from a bar nearby.
Reporters working in the parliament had seen the victim standing near the parliament for several days indeed: he was a sole protester who was defending fathers' rights. The victim has not been identified yet. It was only reported that he is a man of European origin, who looks 50-60 years of age.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign