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Campaigners Celebrate Freedom for Last of the 43

For immediate release: Tuesday 1st August, 2006.

Campaigners Celebrate Freedom for Last of the 43

Campaigners from Free West Papua Campaign in Melbourne have welcomed the decision by the Refugee Review Tribunal in overturning the original Immigration Department rejection of David Wainggai's application for Refugee Status.

“We are heartened that the facts surrounding Mr Wainggai's decision to flee persecution from the Indonesian military's violence in West Papua have been upheld,” said Nick Chesterfield, spokesperson for the Free West Papua Campaign in Melbourne.

Mr Chesterfield explained that the solitary incarceration of David Wainggai on Christmas Island had been inhumane, expensive and unnecessary. “It will be a relief for both David and his friends and family here in Melbourne to finally stand with David to allow him to continue a normal life free of persecution.”

This decision had been made despite the moves by the Australian government to appease the Indonesian military by attempting to change Australia's immigration policy. “This is an opportunity for the Australian government to stop acting like the Swiss Border Guards turning the Jews back to the Nazis, and start acting legally in its obligations to provide protection to those who genuinely require it.”

Mr Chesterfield called on dissenting government members to also utilise this opportunity to vote against Howard's attempts to push through the changes to Immigration law that was scheduled for the first sitting week.

Mr Chesterfield said he welcomed the inevitable public debate this will bring between Australia and Indonesia. “We want to reiterate to the Indonesian people that this is a decision that stands against appeasement of the brutal Indonesian military that killed over two million Indonesians also. It is not about the Indonesian people, it never has been. This is about people fleeing from military oppression.”

w w w . f r e e w e s t p a p u a . c o m


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