Six asylum seekers sent to refugee camp

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday October 15th, 2013


SIX of the seven West Papuan asylum seekers have been flown to Kiunga on their way to the Iowara refugee camp upstream of the Fly River, in Western.

From Kiunga located on the banks of the Fly, they will be ferried across to the Iowara refugee camp located between the mining township and Nomad Patrol Post in Western. 

A spokesman for the asylum seekers Jacob Mamdabayam, 22,  said yesterday that a Papua New Guinean woman with a valid PNG passport and a partner of one of 

the original group of seven had been left behind in Port Moresby and was living with the West Papua community there.

“We do not want to return home to West Papua because when we do they (the Indonesian police) will shoot us –they will kill us,” he said.

Mamdabayam said they were told to move out of their Port  Moresby hotel room on Saturday but refused.

“We refused to pack and leave the room when immigration officers told us to,” Mamdabayam said.

“Then two policemen came.  

“One was armed. He carried an M1-16 gun and told us to pack.

“We packed and they forced us out of the room, down to the parking lot and boarded a car which took us and the immigration officers.”

He said the armed officer at no time pointed the gun at them to force them to pack and leave the room.

Those who were flown by aircraft  to Kiunga were Mamdabayam, Ever Ersor Gebze, 28; Hendra Mambrasar, 22; Paskolis Mahuze, 10; and Antonio Mahuze. 

PNG passport-holder Cathy Mahuze was left behind in Port Moresby because she was a citizen.

Australian Federal police had the seven board a light aircraft on Horne Island – the Thursday Island airport – and flown to Port Moresby instead of the destination that they had dreamed about – mainland Australia.