27 Dec 2010

Planes return PNG citizens trying to reclaim Australian citizenship

10:05 am on 27 December 2010

Three more planeloads of Papua New Guineans trying to reclaim Australian citizenship, were sent home on Christmas Day.

A final flight expected to return the remaining 22 was due to leave yesterday.

The start of the airlift back to Daru began on Friday with 27 of the 119 who were detained on Wednesday and Thursday night.

They were intercepted on Horn Island off the tip of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula.

The Papua New Guineans had set off from Daru Island near the Torres Strait in 12 dinghies on a 150km journey to the Australian mainland .

The group known as Papua Australia Plaintiff United Affiliates or PAPUA, want Australia to recognise that Papuans were not given a choice to remain Australians when PNG gained independence in 1975.