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Australia Grants Visas to Papuans Despite Jakarta Objections  Tapol
 Mar 23, 2006 04:23 PST 


Australia Associated Press
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Papuans get Visas despite Jakarta appeal

Australia has granted temporary visas to all but one of a boatload
of asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Papua, despite
Jakarta's calls for them to be sent back.

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said 42 of the 43 Papuans
who landed at Cape York in January have received temporary protection
visas (TPV) and will be relocated from Christmas Island to Melbourne.

"They will have access to the same services as other TPV holders,"
Senator Vanstone said.

She said a decision was still pending on one of the asylum seekers
as there were further, specific case issues to be addressed.

The 36 adults and seven children, who spent five days at sea before
arriving on Cape York, have accused the Indonesian military of
conducting genocide in their homeland.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono earlier phoned
Prime Minister John Howard, saying the group should not be given
political asylum and should be returned to Indonesia.

He gave an assurance they would not be prosecuted.

The families have been staying in immigration housing on Christmas
Island while the single men have been kept in the detention centre.

Refugee groups have called for them to be released on temporary
protection visas since their arrival.

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Joyo Indonesia News Service
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TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign
111 Northwood Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon CR7 8HW, UK.
tel +44 (0)20 8771 2904 fax +44 (0)20 8653 0322
tap-@gn.apc.org http://tapol.gn.apc.org


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