Australian Nurses Demand Release of Jailed Nurses in West Papua

Media release

ANF demands release of jailed nurses

29 March 2011

The Australian Nursing Federation is calling for the immediate release of five nurses in West Papua who have been jailed by the Indonesian government for taking industrial action.

ANF acting federal secretary Yvonne Chaperon said eight nurses and midwives were originally detained by the criminal investigation unit of the Papuan police in Jayapura for their involvement in industrial action. Five nurses remain in jail.

“The nurses and midwives at the DokII Hospital in Jayapura were promised an incentive payment over a year ago and were suddenly informed on 30 December 2010 that the local authority had rescinded the decision to pay them. This led to a decision by the nurses and midwives to take industrial action and the subsequent detention and interrogation of five nurses.”

Ms Chaperon said the Australian Nursing Federation, representing over 200,000 nurses and midwives nationally, condemned the excessive response by the Indonesian Government.

“These nurses and midwives were exercising a democratic right to take industrial action in response to a decision that was made without reason or warning to withhold an incentive payment they had been promised more than a year ago,” Ms Chaperon said.

“We stand united with our colleagues in West Papua and call for their immediate release. They must be allowed to return to their homes and families without the threat of further intimidation or harassment.”

Media enquiries: Cathy Beadnell 0400 035 797

The ANF, with over 200,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.  For more information, go to

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