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MP blames Australians, Papuan women's persecution

Vanstone blames Australians for West Papuan women's persecution

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle responded to Senator Vanstone's comments today on West Papua and imprisoning women and children.

"Senator Vanstone seeks to distract from her government's intention to lock up asylum seekers including women and children on remote islands because she can not defend her position," Senator Nettle said.

"Senator Vanstone also conveniently ignores the persecution that some women and children face in West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian military. In fact she is seeking to shift the responsibility for hardship West Papuans face from the Indonesian military to Australians - 77% of whom support self-determination for West Papua.

"The government's new immigration legislation reneges on a promise the Prime Minister gave to Liberal Party backbenchers last year that the Australian government would not lock up women and children. The Greens hope that Coalition MPs will hold the Prime Minister to his commitment by opposing the new legislation when it is presented to them next week.

"Ferra Kambu, a mother amongst the 42 West Papuans, has spoken about witnessing the rape, mutilation and murder of women by Indonesian soldiers in West Papua. Is Senator Vanstone seriously proposing that women such as Ferra must choose between such a life in West Papua or imprisonment by Australia on a remote island in the Pacific?

"One imagines that the mother of lone West Papuan asylum seeker left on Christmas Island wants more for her son that continued detention on a remote island off the coast of Australia or the imprisonment she and his father faced at the hands of the Indonesian military. But Senator Vanstone is proposing to imprison more families, women and children in remote island detention centres in the Pacific."

The Greens welcome the Get Up TV commercial to be screened today that focuses on the government's back flip regarding locking up families and children in detention.

© Scoop Media

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