4 Oct 2013

Papua asylum seekers reject PNG ultimatum

9:38 am on 4 October 2013

Seven Papuan asylum seekers from Indonesia who Australia deported to Papua New Guinea have rejected a PNG ultimatum to either be returned to West Papua or claim asylum in PNG.

The group says it has been persecuted by Indonesian security forces and it is unsafe for the them to return as they would be arrested or killed.

They also say in PNG they are still not safe from persecution.

The seven were flown to Port Moresby after arriving in Queensland last week.

Canberra's policy is to send asylum seekers arriving by boat to its detention centres on PNG's Manus Island or Nauru but so far Australia has declined to explain on what basis it decided to refuse the Papuans' asylum bid.

Supporters of the seven are said to be planning a protest today outside the Immigration Offices in Melbourne and Australia's High Commission in PNG.