West Papuan asylum seekers flown to Port Moresby

Refuge groups are concerned for the welfare and security of seven West Papuan asylum seekers flown overnight from Horn Island to Port Moresby.

The seven who arrived in Boigu Island in the Torres Starit on September 25 are fleeing Indonesian military and police.

One West Papuan accused of promoting West Papuan independence and involvement in an independence ceremony on September 12 has been arrested by Indonesia police, while others are being hunted.

The seven were scheduled to meet officials from PNG immigration and the International Organisation of Migration at 8.00am on September 27.

“The Australian government has ignored the West Papuans request for asylum in Australia and hastily deported them to PNG,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“It has breached the West Papuans’ human rights and its obligation not to deport asylum seekers to danger. PNG will not provide protection for West Papuan asylum seekers.

“The Coalition has ignored their right to claim asylum and conveniently removed the West Papuans to PNG to avoid aggravating diplomatic relations with Indonesia. It is shameful political expediency.”