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December 3, 2009

Indonesian protest in support of Merak asylum seekers

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Media Release December 3
A coalition of Indonesian activist groups is holding a rolling protest in Jakarta, Friday 4 December, in support of the Tamil asylum seekers still occupying their boat at Merak.

The protest will start at 9.00 am Jakarta time at the Indonesia Foreign Affairs Ministry; then move at 12.00 at the Jakarta office of the UNHCR.

At 2.00pm, the protest will assemble at the Australian Embassy.

The demands of the protest are: (i) Open Humanitarian Access to the Refugees; (ii) Reject the “Indonesian Solution”; (iii) for Indonesia to Sign UN Convention on Refugees.

The Refugee Action Coalition welcomes the protest action in Indonesia and will be sending a message of support to the protest.

“Under its “Indonesian Solution, the Rudd government is trying to use the Indonesian government to persecute asylum seekers on its behalf. Hypocritically, the Rudd government claims that detention is a last resort. Yet it is providing millions of dollars to the IOM and the Indonesia government to maintain detention centres with appalling conditions in Indonesia,” said in Ian Rintoul spokesperson for the Refuge Action Coalition.

“Rudd claims that government policy is that women and children will not be detained behind razor wire, yet the women and children taken off the Oceanic Viking are behind bars in an Australian funded detention centre in Tanjung Pinang.

“If the Rudd government increased its refugee intake to the level of the Keating government, it could easily provide places for all those asylum seekers presently languishing in Indonesia for years.

It could also provide real aid for the Indonesian people rather than demanding they police Australia’s border and run detention centres so the Australian government can avoid its obligations to provide protection to asylum seekers.”

For more information Indonesia, Mahendra + 6285716280745
In Australia call Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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