3 Feb 2006

Australian government MP gives credence to Papuan asylum claims

4:37 pm on 3 February 2006

An Australian government MP, Barnaby Joyce, says the 43 boatpeople from Indonesia's Papua province appears to have a genuine claim for asylum in Australia.

The group arrived in Queensland last month and Australian authorities immediately flew them to the processing facility on Christmas island in the Indian Ocean.

A number of Australian parliamentarians, including Senator Joyce, visited the asylum seekers.

He says there are documented cases of members within the asylum seekers' families being shot.

Senator Joyce says he thinks the asylum seekers would be under risk if they went back.

Indonesia has said the claims of the Papuans are baseless.