Wednesday April 5 2006 1:20pm WST
For Immediate Release
"As - still unconfirmed - reports place the presumably asylum-seeking family of the West Papuan Union activist, including a baby, as having landed on Deliverance Island, just inside the Australia-PNG border, Australia's PM John Howard should show he "has the ticker" and stand up to Indonesia's intimidatory attitudes, not just to the West Papuans, but now also to Australia," says WA Rights group Project SafeCom.
Reports claim that both Customs and Police officers have gone to deal with a matter on Deliverance Island, also known as Warul Kawa, an Indigenous Protected Area since 2001 just 16 nautical miles from Papua New Guinea, on the day they are looking to locate a family fleeing from West Papua.
"Today it's Mr Howard's turn to show he has the ticker, and all he needs to do is read the assessment of the previous 42 West Papuan refugees who arrived in Australia, where the independent assessment by the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre's lawyer David Manne is now complete, and all he needs to do is quote Mr Manne's public statement at the Melbourne press conference this week.
"Today we heard from Mr Howard in the media, but his statement only just stopped short of calling West Papuans "Indonesians" - an offensive label for West Papuans. They may well be called Indonesian citizens, but they sure don't call themselves Indonesians.
"Mr Howard should start calling a spade a spade, and name that there are extra-judicial killings going on in West Papua at the hand of the Indonesians, that there is torture going on, that there are 'brutal human rights abuses going on, and that people are litterally 'running for their lives' when coming to Australia.
"And Mr Howard should apply proper legal processes, and bring the asylum seekers immediately to Australian mainland, and not dare dump them on Nauru, Manus Island or for that matter Christmas Island. None of these three god-forlorn places are places of justice for people seeking protection."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]