Amos Wainggai, a Papuan refugee who came by boat to Australia in 2006, will be making the return journey by boat to Papua in 5 days’ time.
While Rudd’s ‘PNG Solution’ threatens to deport all asylum seekers arriving by boat to Manus Detention Centre, Amos is making the journey to Papua by choice, to fight for the freedom of his people.
A press conference will be held at Cairns Yacht Club Boatshed, Marlin Marina, on August 15th 9-10am before the crew embark.
Amos’ arrival in Cape York as one of the 43 West Papuan asylum seekers sparked a diplomatic row with Indonesia when all of the group were recognised as genuine refugees fleeing from persecution.
The group forged links with Aboriginal people from around the country, and were recently granted Aboriginal Passports in a ceremony at Victorian Trades Hall. “We must remember that besides the Indigenous people of this land, we are all boat people, these politicians who talk about ‘turning back the boats’ and ‘go back to where you came from’ should practice what they preach” says Amos.
Should the group have made the short journey by canoe today they would be deported to PNG under Labor’s scheme. “Many West Papuans who fled the violence and came to PNG in the 80s are still not citizens, don’t have secure access to land, health or education, and have been attacked by the PNG security forces” reports Papuan activist Ronny Kareni.
Under the Liberal’s plan, the canoe could be turned back to Indonesia. “We fled because of the violence of the Indonesian military against us and our families. If we had been forced to return they would have torturedand killed us” said Wainggai.
Bob Carr’s cruel depiction of asylum seekers as ‘economic migrants’ is a desperate attempt to justify the Labor government’s draconian policy. Amos Wainggai along with his West Papuan community who continue to struggle for their country’s freedom after settling in Australia, tell us a different story.
“Of course we come here to look for a better life, where we can be free from the killings, torture and repression carried out by the Indonesian military in West Papua” says Amos.
“I want to return to West Papua, but not to be hunted by Indonesia or be forced to renounce my belief for our freedom. Now I am going back to West Papua with the Freedom Flotilla to help in the struggle for freedom of my people.”
For all media enquiries please contact:
Amos Wainggai: +61431284731 (Bahasa Indonesia Preferred)