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Aust.: West Papuans must not be held incommunicado

West Papuans must not be held incommunicado

To show that the Department of Immigration has changed its ways, the
Government should allow access to the West Papuan boat people held on
Christmas Island, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said today.

Senator Nettle was addressing a rally outside the Melbourne office of the Department of Immigration in support of the 43 West Papuan boat people.

"It is a week since the West Papuans arrived in Australia, yet the
Government is still holding them incommunicado, Senator Nettle said.

"They should not be in detention and they certainly should be allowed to communicate with the outside world. The Department of Immigrations actions so far indicate that it still puts public relations before the welfare of its prisoners.

"I will go to Christmas Island this weekend and meet with the West Papuans. The Minister of Immigration and the Department is obligated under the Migration Act to allow me to meet with the asylum seekers."

"The invasion and occupation of West Papua has already cost over
100,000 lives. Like East Timor the Australian Government should shift its policy and support human rights and independence."

"The restarting of military training and a new security agreement with Indonesia makes Australia complicit in the escalating human rights violations in West Papua. Refusing asylum for the West Papuans would compound this complicity. Senator Nettle said.

© Scoop Media

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