27 Aug 2013

Australian flotilla bound for Papua despite threats by Indonesia

1:22 pm on 27 August 2013

A group of Australian activists say threats of force by Indonesia have not hindered their determination to make it to Papua's shores.

Their three-boat convoy with about 20 activists is planning to reach Merauke in southern Papua in the coming weeks.

Its spokesperson, Ruben Blake, says the threats of arrest, force and naval interception are heavy-handed, but is not surprising as Indonesia has gone to great lengths in the past to keep people out of Papua.

He says he is concerned about the safety of those on board.

"We believe that safety of a group of peaceful protestors who are going there on a cultural mission as well as a human rights mission should be respected. These threats that haven't been ruling out the use of guns and force is a big concern. People around the world should be absolutely concerned about the safety of the people on board the boats."

Ruben Blake says the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, should be offering consular support to the group of peaceful protestors.