West Papuans protest deportation

WEST Papuans in the National Capital District took to the Australian High Commission office in Port Moresby demanding a response on the deportation of seven of their colleagues from Australia last week.
Last week, seven West Papuans, including a pregnant woman and a child, turned up on Boigu island and were immediately deported to PNG.
The seven immigrants arrived in the Torres Strait from Indonesia after transiting for two days in PNG, saying they feared they would be killed if captured by the Indonesian military.
The seven West Papuans were sent back by Australian authorities prompting the PNG-based West Papuans to go on strike on Friday, a stage a small protest march with their banners starting from the National Library premises in Port Moresby to the Australian High Commission office.
The activists demanded answers and pleaded that the deportation was illegal and that the West Papuans said that they only spent two days in PNG before crossing by boat into Australia.
The Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison responded in the Australian media that over the weekend the deportation was done in accordance with a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and PNG which allows the deportation of asylum seekers back to PNG only if seven or more days are spent there in transit.
He said that Australia and Papua New Guinea relaxed a decade old bilateral agreement to deport seven West Papuan asylum seekers last week
"The 2003 Memorandum of Understanding requires that, for someone to be sent back from Australia to PNG, that they've been in PNG for seven days, and that clearly wasn't the case with these people,” Mr Morrison said. “So, I think they have been unlawfully removed from Australia to Papua New Guinea, and in that process, the government has ignored their right to make an asylum application here and has also jeopardised any possibility of getting permanent protection in PNG, because PNG doesn't provide permanent protection to West Papuans.” Source PostCurier

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