24 Mar 2006

Indonesia deplores Australian decision to accept Papuan asylum seekers

3:12 pm on 24 March 2006

Indonesia has described Australia's decision to grant temporary visas to 42 asylum seekers from Papua province as deplorable and disappointing.

Jakarta has summoned Australia's ambassador to Jakarta, Bill Farmer, to protest against Australia's decision.

All but one of the 43 Papuans who arrived in Australia's far north in January and were flown to Christmas island for processing are allowed to stay.

A spokesman for the Indonesian embassy in Australia, Dino Kusnadi, says the decision is a case of double standards given decisions by Canberra's Immigration Department over previous asylum seekers.

Mr Kusnadi says the decision was made without consulting Indonesia over verifying claims about alleged persecution in Papua...

"It is made by the Department of Immigration and it is made by an independent panel but up to now we have not seen this panel contactour government or any other officials to verify whether it's true or not, but just based on one-sided information."

Indonesia spokesman Dino Kusnadi