AAP Report: Asylum Seekers now detained on Christmas Island
Papua refugees flown to Christmas IslandThursday Jan 19 22:42 AEDTThe 43 Papuan asylum seekers found on Cape York are being flown to an offshore detention facility on Christmas Island.The group of 30 men, six women and seven children boarded an Air Force Hercules aircraft at 7.30pm (AEDT) on Thursday, the immigration department said in a statement.Departmental spokeswoman Sandi Longan said the refugees were medically examined in Weipa and cleared for travel."The men in the group will be accommodated at the Phosphate Hill Detention Centre, while the women and children will be placed in staff housing," Ms Longan said.
"The group was also accompanied by a RAAF medical team for the seven-hour flight."Ms Longan said departmental officials would interview the group, assessing their claims for asylum, while on the island.There have been calls for the department to grant bridging visas to the group, allowing them to live in Australia while their cases are examined.The refugees were found on Cape York Peninsula after they sailed to Australia in an outrigger canoe.
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