West Papuans taken to Port Moresby airport

West Papuans and supporters took part in a Freedom Flotilla earlier this month to highlight the fight for a free West Papua

Sydney’s Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on October 12.

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The seven West Papuan asylum seekers secretly removed from Australia to Port Moresby in late September have been taken by police to the Port Moresby airport.

The asylum seekers have been under guard at their hotel since a meeting with PNG immigration officials on Thursday [October 10] afternoon.

At around midday today [October 12] police arrived at the hotel to escort them to the airport.

It is understood that they are being taken to Kiunga camp in the Western Province.

“Scott Morrison’s action to hastily remove the West Papuan asylum seekers has resulted in them being sent to PNG which has no intention of assessing their refugee claims or assuring their safety,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The Australian government must urgently intervene to bring the asylum seekers to Australia where their security can be guaranteed and their refugee claims can be properly assessed.

“The asylum seekers were told by PNG officials that their refugee claim could be assessed by the UNHCR from the Kiunga camp, but that is farce. Like the asylum seekers sent to Manus Island, Scott Morrison has dumped in PNG and left the PNG government to do Australia’s dirty work of denying them protection. “