5 Jun 2006

Lone Papuan asylum seeker on Christmas Island in precarious situation

7:56 pm on 5 June 2006

Legal representatives for a Papuan asylum seeker being held by Australian Immigration officials on Christmas Island says isolation has left him in a bad state.

David Wainggai is one of the 43 asylum seekers who arrived in Australia in January, saying they were fleeing persecution in Indonesia.

While 42 of the group were granted protection visas, his application was rejected on the grounds that Mr Wainggai's mother has Japanese citizenship and he may be able to live in Japan.

Through his legal representative David Manne, Mr Wainggai is appealing the decision to the Refugee Review Tribunal.

Mr Manne says there's no guarantee the Papuan will be accepted by Japan, and the decision is baseless in law and fact.

"He remains stuck on Christmas Island in a very precarious situation - the tyranny of distance and detention is really taking its toll on him... very badly, and he is vigourously pursuing all his legal rights to appeal this baseless decsision and to ensure that justice is done."