Human rights activist `in coma’

Northern Territory News (Australia)

September 15, 2008

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.

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