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Government must grant sanctuary to West Papuans: Greens

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 6 Oct 2013

Australian Greens Senator, Dr Richard Di Natale, today called for the Australian Government to immediately offer sanctuary to three West Papuans.

Markus Jerewon, Yuvensius Goo and Rofinus Yanggam entered the Australian Consulate in Bali last night and have released an open letter to the APEC leaders currently meeting in Bali.

“These young West Papuans must be given sanctuary in the Australian Consulate,” said Senator Di Natale, founding co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of West Papua Group.

“They are simply calling for independent journalists to be granted access to the region and for West Papuan political prisoners to be released. They are not seeking independence and their position is entirely consistent with Australia's response to the review of the Lombok treaty.

“By speaking out in this way, these brave West Papuans have put their lives in serious danger. If Australia fails to offer them protection, I have grave fears for their safety. 

“I will be taking this matter up with the Foreign Minister and will contact the Australian Consul-General in Bali to request that the activists are not forced out of the consulate and handed over to the Indonesian Police.

“The Australian Greens and human rights groups have long advocated for free access by the media to West Papua and for the release of political prisoners. The Abbott Government must take a stand and do the same.”

Contact:         Andrew Blyberg - 0457 901 600

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