17 Jul 2006

Papuan refugee in fear in PNG as family is safe in Australia

10:07 am on 17 July 2006

An Australian opposition senator says a Papuan woman, Siti Pandera Wanggai, whose husband and daughter have been given protection visas stills fears for her safety in Papua New Guinea.

Yunus Wanggai and his four year old daughter Anike fled from Indonesia to Queensland in January, claiming they suffered persecution at the hands of Indonesian authorities.

They were given refugee protection in Australia along with 40 other Papuans.

Ms Wanggai became embroiled in a controversy after she was reported saying her daughter was taken from her without permission but she later said she was forced to make the statement.

Mrs Wanggai then fled to Papua New Guinea where Greens senator Kerry Nettle met her twice last week.

"She is currently in hiding in Papua New Guinea because there have been three separate instances where individuals have been sent by the Indonesian government to make contact with her in order, as we understand, to bring her back to West Papua in Indonesia."

Kerry Nettle