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Papuans “had a gun to their heads”: Greens

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 7 Oct 2013

Australian Greens Senator, Richard Di Natale, today called on Trade Minister Andrew Robb to explain misleading remarks about West Papuans who visited the Australian consulate in Bali over the weekend to raise awareness of human rights issues in West Papua. “Andrew Robb stated very clearly that the three Papuans left voluntarily. But after hearing directly from the West Papuans involved, we now know the truth is that they only did so after being threatened with being handed over to the Indonesian police,” said Senator Di Natale. “We know from recent history what that often means for Papuan protesters. Prison, torture and even disappearance often follow. “They didn’t leave voluntarily – they effectively had a gun to their heads. “The actions of the Australian Consulate in Bali have put the lives of these three brave young men in grave danger.” Senator Di Natale also called on the Foreign Minister to clarify the Australian Government’s role in the actions of the consulate in Bali. “Did the consular officials act of their own accord in threatening the Papuans this way, or were they acting under instructions? “The Foreign Minister needs to provide a clear and detailed explanation of events immediately.” Contact: Andrew Blyberg - 0457 901 600

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