Subject: Human rights activist 'in coma'

Northern Territory News (Australia)

September 15, 2008

Human rights activist 'in coma'

A POPULAR Darwin activist is in an induced coma in hospital after a freak accident, while friends and family hold vigils for him.


Rob Wesley-Smith was rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital last week after a fall. Darwin-based East Timorese woman Lurdes Pires said Mr Wesley-Smith (pictured) was helping a friend shift some rubbish at the Nhulunbuy tip when he fell into a large bin.

She said he was hauling some scrap iron into a recycling bin when the wind caught it and knocked him down.

It is understood he suffered nine broken ribs and bruising to the brain.

Mr Wesley-Smith's family have rushed to his side. He was last night in a serious condition in a coma.

"The Timorese people are all very worried,'' Ms Pires said.

"We don't want to lose him. There have been vigils at people's houses.''

As well as being a long-time activist for East Timorese independence and human rights, Mr Wesley-Smith is also a planning advocate and writer of letters to the Northern Territory News.

[For updates on Wes's condition see his brother Martin's blog. - JMM/ETAN]

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