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West Papuans deserve permanent protection

West Papuans deserve permanent protection

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has welcomed the decision to grant protection visas to 42 of the West Papuan refugees who have been on Christmas Island, but questioned the temporary status of the visas.

"The situation in West Papua is clearly very dangerous for those who assert their right to self-determination, so the decision to grant protection visas is a good one," Senator Nettle said.

"There is no reason why these refugees cannot be granted full protection and as a result have full rights to live and work in the Australian community,

"I look forward to meeting the West Papuans again when they are settled on the mainland.

"I hope this decision indicates a acknowledgement by the Australian government that the situation in West Papua is a human rights nightmare.

"I shall be asking the government about the foreign policy implications of this decision with regards to the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.

"It is illogical for the Australian Government to continue to support the conditions which lead to the oppression of West Papuans in their country whilst also acknowledging this oppression with these protection visas.

"The decision made today allows these refugees to live in the community whilst their claim for asylum will be assessed in the future which should have been the case from the moment they landed on Australian soil.

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