Freedom Flotilla warned - risk of up to 5 years jail for breaching Indonesian law

Media release

20 August 2013

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today warned that a group of Australians taking part in a “Freedom Flotilla” to Indonesia’s Papuan provinces could face up to 5 years jail for immigration and other offences if they enter Indonesian waters without approval.

Speaking from Jakarta, Senator Carr said members of the group had said they intended to make an unauthorised landfall in Indonesia in the next three weeks, as part of a pro-independence protest.

“Our message to these fringe activists from Australia is that they risk breaching Indonesian immigration laws,” Senator Carr said.

“If they do end up breaching Indonesian law they will receive the normal consular support. But Indonesian and not Australian law will prevail.

“The Australian Government has urged these activists not to engage in this high-risk behaviour.”

Senator Carr said members of the Flotilla were also perpetrating a cruel hoax on the people of the Papuan provinces, by suggesting that Papuan independence was on the international agenda.

“The world recognises Indonesian sovereignty over its Papuan provinces, as do both sides of Australian politics,” Senator Carr said.

The “Freedom Flotilla” is a convoy of three yachts with around 20 passengers, which departed Cairns on August 17 with the stated intention of making an unauthorised landfall in Indonesia’s Papuan provinces by early September.

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