11 Jun 2009

Five Australians reportedly fragile after detention for flying into Indonesia's Papua region

6:29 pm on 11 June 2009

A supporter of five Australians who are reportedly free to leave Papua where they've been detained since September after they flew into Indonesia without visas or flight clearance says they are emotionally shattered.

The five are to be set free after the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected an appeal by prosecutors against an earlier high court decision in their favour.

The editor of the Torres Strait News, Mark Bousen, says that after being told twice before that they could leave Papua only for the decision to change, theyp won't be celebrating until they're back in Australia.

"They're quite fragile in an emotional sense. I think after nine months that would be expected, given that this process, the last appeal, has dragged on for two months. They live every day with this situation hanging over their head. They've all said at various stages to me that this has been a great holiday except you've got this situation hanging over your head which could just collapse at any time of the day."

Mark Bousen