ANF demands release of jailed nurses

April 2, 2011
ANF acting federal secretary Yvonne Chaperon. Photo:

The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) issued a statement on March 29 calling for the immediate release of five West Papuan nurses who have been arrested and jailed by the Indonesian government for taking part in industrial action.

Eight nurses and midwives were detained on March 20 by the criminal investigation unit of the Papuan police in Jayapura, ANF acting federal secretary Yvonne Chaperon said. Five remain in jail.

The ANF said: “The nurses and midwives at the DokII Hospital in Jayapura were promised an incentive payment over a year ago and were suddenly informed on 30 December 2010 that the local authority had rescinded the decision to pay them.

“This led to a decision by the nurses and midwives to take industrial action and the subsequent detention and interrogation of five nurses.”

Australian Council of Trade Union president Ged Kearney said on March 30 that the nurses have reportedly been subjected to long periods of police interrogation about their involvement in the industrial campaign.

Chaperon said: “We stand united with our colleagues in West Papua and call for their immediate release. They must be allowed to return to their homes and families without the threat of further intimidation or harassment.”


The Australain government should raise this matter forcefully if necessary with the appropriate iIndonesian authorities, to see adequate justice done, and to remind the Indonesia authorities that Australian goodwill and support will not necessarily be forthcoming on many other matters of joint concern if Australians ore offended by the way matters are often being mishandled in West Irian.

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