3 Oct 2013

West Papuan asylum seekers face uncertain future

6:58 am on 3 October 2013

The seven West Papuan asylum seekers from Indonesia who Australia deported to Papua New Guinea last week say they face an uncertain future.

PNG Immigration has given them the option of staying as refugees in PNG or of being returned to Indonesia.

The seven, who reached Queensland last week claiming to be fleeing persecution by Indonesian security forces, were transferred to Port Moresby by Australian Immigration officials.

One of the group, Yacob Mandabayan, says they are expected to decide by today.

"We don't want to live in here (PNG). In other cases, West Papuan refugees in here, they have no clear status, they have no better life in here. We don't want to live in Papua New Guinea, we don't want to live in Indonesia, we only want to live in Australia."

Yacob Mandabayan says the group fears they will be killed if they return to Indonesia.

He claims they have not been able to access the help of a lawyer while in Australia and PNG.