Toll rises to 50 in Malaysian migrant boat accident, survivor found
Hurriyet Daily News [6/9/15]:
Malaysian rescuers have recovered the bodies of 35 more Indonesian migrants killed when their boat sank three days ago, along with another survivor, taking the toll in the disaster to 50, officials said on Sept. 6.
The survivor was recovered on Sept. 4 in the afternoon having spent more than a day in the water and was said to be in good health.
“Thirty-five more bodies have been recovered since Friday,” said Mohamad Aliyas Hamdan, a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency official.
“We expect to find more over the next few days,” he added.
Aliyas said the search operation would continue for the next three days, adding that from information gained from the 20 people rescued, there were believed to have been up to 80 people on the small vessel.
Officials have said the overcrowded wooden boat capsized and sank in rough seas about 16 kilometres (10 miles) off the coast of central Malaysia’s Selangor state before dawn on Thursday.
The group were leaving Malaysia to return to Indonesia across the Malacca Strait.
Jakarta Post [6/9/15]:
... The bodies were brought to the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainon in Ipoh for post-mortem.
In Klang, the 19 survivors rescued earlier were issued with remand orders by the Kuala Selangor magistrate’s court.
They were placed under police custody for 14 days, pending investigations.
Officers also rescued an Indonesian man who survived despite being out in open waters for over 28 hours.
He was found floating in the sea on Friday afternoon.
Hardline monks claim victory as Myanmar Muslims face poll exclusion [Yahoo - 6/9/15]
Is dropping more bombs on Syria the way to solve the refugee crisis? Kevin Ovenden [Stop The War Coalition - 6/9/15]:
... So why push for bombing at all, with so much doubt even among the military top brass, and with an unworkable policy of both regime change and stopping ISIS?
At this moment, it is in order to avoid having to break with the inhuman asylum and immigration policy and to allow refugees in. Something that is 100 percent guaranteed to help and not to make matters worse.
It is to exploit the suffering of millions of people who are on the move in order to justify an enhanced British military presence in the Middle East, even though that will create more refugees.
It is to use deaths such as Aylan’s to cement alliances with countries such as Saudi Arabia, which is bombing neighbouring Yemen and has not taken one single Syrian. Not one.
There is a deep understanding among a section of the public that Western bombing will create more refugees not end the crisis.
That is true among people I know on the island of Mytilene (Lesvos) in Greece.
They were charged with people smuggling because of their actions in helping refugees.
The campaign around their court case is what caused the current Greek government to change the law so that helping people ashore in the Aegean is not a crime.
The popular assistance for refugees in Greece which has been organised by ordinary people for many years has fought many political campaigns.
It has resisted attempts to exploit suffering for military purposes.
So as this movement of solidarity builds towards a day of action across the continent on 12 September let’s follow that example.
Nauru alleged rape victim's condition deteriorates
Sydney Morning Herald [6/9/15]:
The brother of an Iranian asylum seeker who was allegedly raped on Nauru has sent a heartfelt plea to the government to allow the family to be by her bedside as reports emerge of her condition worsening.
The man, who doesn't want to be named, said his sister, Nazanin, was bleeding in the stomach and was likely to be operated upon on Monday.
"Emotionally she has completely deteriorated. She needs her family," he said.
"She is not really OK. She is ... completely scared and worried ... because she is alone.
"Even for a normal girl when they have operation, the family is going to be beside [them] and supporting. How about a 23-year-old girl, brutally assaulted and raped, and two times tried to suicide."
Nazanin was allegedly attacked in May on her way back to the Australian-run Nauru detention centre after a visit to the island to meet friends. She was flown to Australia in August for treatment.
Her family had earlier said she had been on a hunger strike since the alleged attack and attempted suicide twice, including by drinking insecticide.
While in Nauru, the woman was reportedly kept in a separate compound away from her family after the alleged assault.
The brother said being separated from her mother and brother made the situation worse.
"I am worried that she will lose herself mentally," he said.
"Because we don't know what is happening for her mentally and physically, the pressure won't allow us to sleep for even one minute."
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites spokeswoman Janet Galbraith said her family should be brought to Australia.
"Her mother and brother remain in Nauru and must be brought to Australia to be with her," Ms Galbraith said.
"[We] hold the Commonwealth government of Australia and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection responsible for the well-being of Nazanin's family on Nauru, should there be any repercussions because of their speaking out."
Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she would write to Immigration Minister Paul Dutton asking him to bring the family to be at Nazanin's side.
"Nazanin's situation is extremely concerning," Ms Hanson-Young said. "With her condition deteriorating in such a serious way ... bringing her family to be with her is the very least we can do."
Ms Hanson-Young said Australia had a duty of care to the young woman and her family.
"She came to Australia asking for safety and, instead of protecting her, the Abbott government dumped her in harm's way on Nauru.
"I have been speaking with the Immigration Department and have requested a visit with Nazanin as soon as possible."
The Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton had not responded before the paper went to press on Sunday evening.
Protected and Unaccountable Immigration Minister travels to Geneva to disgrace Australia on the world stage
... "I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly given that we have stopped the boats," he [Abbott] said. ...
[ABC - 9/3/15]
Australia is NOT taking Syrian refugees. Australia has not accepted UNHCR refugees since October 2014. Those who manage to get here we torture.
Prime Minister of Australia Media Release [6/9/15]:
The Australian Government will consult with our international partners on possible further assistance for the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East and Europe.
The scale of the dislocation of people in Syria and northern Iraq and the unfolding crisis in the Mediterranean requires further international response.
While Europe remains the frontline for the unprecedented movement of people, millions more are suffering in refugee camps in nations bordering the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
This week the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton, will travel to Geneva for urgent discussions with the UNHCR and other partners.
The Government is considering what further significant contribution we can make through our Humanitarian Programme to resettle those affected by the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
Our focus will be on families and women and children, especially of persecuted minorities, who have sought refuge in camps neighbouring Syria and Iraq.
As a result of the Government’s success in stopping illegal boat arrivals to Australia, we are now in a position to take more refugees from offshore refugee camps.
@jamesglenday - ABC journalist [6/9/15]: Bill Shorten has twice referred to the "little girl" that's drowned. It was in fact a little boy ...
@RichardMarlesMP [7/4/15]: Being shown around the UNHCR run Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan today by Col Abdelrahman & Hovig Etyemezian 1/2
Australian parliamentary delegation [Phillip Ruddock, Chris Hayes] visit refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon [November 2014]
Lockheed Martin Australia has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the new Australian Defence Force Pilot Training System.
The contract will see the Australian Defence Force’s Basic Flying Training delivered from RAAF Base East Sale, Victoria. ... [Minister for Defence Media Release - 6/9/15
... The contract, valued at $665 million, will see Boeing design, develop and deliver a modern, digital communications system to support the deployment of operational headquarters and enable access to Defence’s strategic networks. ... Minister for Defence – Defence to upgrade battlefield communications network [4/9/15]
... It is not a Greek problem, it is a European and global problem.
Our humanity is being tested, our effectiveness is being tested, and Europe's ability to share the burden and act as a true Union is also being tested. The time has come for courageous decisions, not only from Europe, but also from the international community, which has been casually ignoring the wars and violence in our region.
It is not enough to be moved by the harrowing images of dead children.
It is not enough to feel compassion - we must act together and in solidarity.
Europe’s humanitarian values and traditions are being put to the test by the lives of these people; meanwhile some in our country persist with demagoguery.
Our humanity and civilization are being judged.
Cyprus rescues 114 fleeing Syria in fishing boat [Times of Israel - 6/9/15]
... Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called on the United Nations Saturday to press Israel to allow Palestinians from refugee camps in Syria to take shelter in the Palestinian territories, whose external borders are controlled by Israel.
"President Abbas has asked the Palestinian representative to the UN to implement as quickly as possible, in coordination with the UN secretary general, measures for the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria to the Palestinian territories," his office said.
The UN says there are more than 525,000 Palestinian refugees at its camps in Syria, many of whom have been displaced by the civil war there.
Israel has long been treating wounded Syrians who reach Israeli lines on the occupied Golan Heights, but hostility among the Druze of the area has flared due to rebel attacks on their brethren in Syria.
In June Druze attacked an Israeli military ambulance on the Golan transporting wounded "Syrians" to hospital, killing one of them.
Previously, Druze in northern Israel's Galilee region stoned a military ambulance they suspected was taking Syrian rebels to hospital. Israel must welcome Syrian refugees: Labour's Herzog [Ahram - 5/9/15]
Thousands of people held a rally in the French capital Paris to show their support for migrants Saturday, with Europe facing an unprecedented influx of arrivals and divided over the best way to deal with the crisis.
Around 8,500 people took part in the demonstration at the Place de République, according to police figures, with many waving flags and placards expressing their solidarity with the migrants.
"We are all descendants of immigrants,” one sign said.
“Open the borders,” read another. Smaller rallies were held in other towns and cities in France, with around 10,000 people demonstrating across the country in total. ... [France 24 - 5/9/15]
Western media organizations have recently been making strong claims about Russia’s alleged military involvement in Syria, to the point that US Secretary of State John Kerry started calling Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, sharing his concerns and adding more fuel to speculations.
The media frenzy around the suspected Russian military involvement in Syria reignited after President Putin’s answer was taken out of context when he was asked to clarify whether Russia is ready to take part in military operations against the Islamic State militants in Syria. ... [RT- 6/9/15]
Saudi Arabia has intensified its airstrikes on the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, as the Riyadh military presses ahead with its brutal campaign against the neighboring country.
According to local media outlets, Saudi warplanes fired as many as five rockets on the headquarters of the Yemeni security forces in the southern part of the capital on Sunday. ... [Press TV - 6/9/15]
US Defense Secretary eaffirms US-Saudi strategic relationship’s importance [US Department of Defense – 4/9/15]
A woman and her three children were killed in a rocket strike during a clash between Taliban militants and security forces, in which 14 rebels and one Afghan soldier were killed in eastern Kunar province on Saturday, an official said. ... [Pajwhok - 5/9/15]
Unknown gunmen have killed 13 members of the ethnic Hazara minority travelling in two vehicles in a usually tranquil northern Afghan province.
The victims, all male passengers, were plucked from their vehicles and shot dead from close range in Balkh province in a rare attack targeting ethnic minorities on Saturday. ... [Al Jazeera - 5/9/15]
Stop War Not People!
@SomersetBean via @eatps_
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 6/9/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Raqqah, an airstrike had inconclusive results.
-- Near Mar’a, six airstrikes struck five ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar tube, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Tal Abyad, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 25 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:
-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike had inconclusive results.
-- Near Beiji, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL artillery piece, an ISIL building, an ISIL tunnel entrance and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike struck an ISIL sniper firing position and destroyed an ISIL building.
-- Near Haditha, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Hit, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Kisik, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL heavy machine gun firing position and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, seven airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, five ISIL staging areas and destroyed an ISIL motorcycle, an ISIL building and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Rawah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL homemade explosives facility.
-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tuz, two airstrikes destroyed 48 ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL vehicles.
A two-month-old baby from a family of refugees has died on the Greek island of Agathonisis, according to police sources, while on Lesbos riot officers have clashed with refugees.
The baby died on Saturday several hours after the family landed on Agathonisis, having sailed from Turkey.
The infant was treated at a local clinic but its medics had only limited facilities, Evangelos Kottoros, the mayor of Agathonisis, told public TV network ERT.
Authorities did not immediately provide any further information on the child's identity or the cause of death. ... [Al Jazeera - 6/9/15]
The UN refugee agency is saddened at the death of a 50 year old man, on Friday, near a refugee reception centre in the Hungarian town of Bicske.
UNHCR staff on the ground were gathering exact details about the circumstance of the death. However, initial reports suggested the man falling down and hitting his head against train tracks, while trying to run away from the police at the train station.
An ambulance was called which tried to provide medical assistance on the spot, but the man reportedly died after 50 minutes of the incident. ... [Media Release - 5/9/15]
... UNHCR applauded the decision of Austria and Germany as well as the work of civil society groups in welcoming large numbers of refugees. But UNHCR High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said that much more needed to be done. Europe, he said, was at a defining moment and must prepare to receive as many as 200,000 new refugees. ... [Media Release - 5/9/15]
Hundreds of volunteers join convoy to take asylum seekers from Hungary to Austria [Independent - 4/9/15]
Why is the Australian media continuing to protect our criminal political class and their lies? Canada's refugee policies are mean and incompetent [The Star - 5/9/15]:
... Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has evaded questions about the government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis for months, and the government has refused to respond quickly enough to the urgent request of the United Nations to assist in resettling Syrian refugees.
Now Alexander has suspended his re-election campaign to get briefings so he can focus on the crisis. This comes a day after his shameful performance on national television in which he tried to deflect questions about his government’s inaction in the face of the crisis.
Many may wonder why he waited until now to get a briefing when the UNHCR has been pleading for over a year for a significant Canadian commitment to resettle refugees.
The failure to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis is part of a broader failure of this government’s approach to welcoming refugees to Canada.
With the cuts to refugee health care and their amendments to the refugee law, the government has gone to great lengths to discourage asylum seekers from coming to Canada.
Two of their pillars of refugee reform have been found by the courts to have violated the constitutional rights of refugees — cuts to refugee health care were found to be “cruel and unusual” treatment, and barring groups of refugees from accessing appeal rights was found to be discriminatory. ...
Immigration head launches legal bid to keep boat turnback document secret [Guardian - 2/9/15]
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
Irish navy rescues 329 refugees in Mediterranean
How many refugee boats has the Australian navy pushed back in the last 24 hours?
The Irish navy rescued 329 migrants in the Mediterranean earlier this afternoon.
At 4pm Irish time, the LÉ Niamh, completed the rescue of the 329 migrants from 3 vessels approximately 58 kilometres North of Tripoli.
This morning the ship was tasked by the Italian Marine Rescue Co Ordination Centre (IMRCC) to investigate a sighting of three possible migrant vessels.
The ship now has the 329 rescued migrants on board.
There were 317 men, 11 women and one child.
They are all receiving water, food and medical assistance where required.
Conditions at the time were said to be good.
The LÉ Niamh is now en route to the port of Pozzallo and is expected to arrive at 8 am tomorrow.
@MSF_Sea [5/9/15]: Of the 3,800,000 #Syrians hosted in #Jordan, #Lebanon, #Iraq, #Turkey and #Egypt, just 63,170 have been resettled
@Raqqa_SL [5/9/15]: he lost his leg by a bomb in #Aleppo his friend carry the other leg they just arrived #Austria #refugeecrisis
That not ONE politician will call on the Australian government to start complying with the UN Refugee Convention highlights their criminality. [ABC - 6/9/15]:
... Meanwhile the Government is considering a United States request to expand bombing operations across Iraq's western border into Syria.
Cabinet's National Security Committee will this week make a decision on whether to launch air strikes against IS targets in Syria, and is almost certain to authorise the action.
Refugees are not a box of chocolates.
Tokenistic stunts suggesting Australia might "help" some refugees while you are torturing, exiling, repelling and invisibilising others is UTTERLY REPUGNANT.
South East Asia
... Destitute migrants escaping countries like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq in a bid to reach Europe via land and sea have been well-documented by the mainstream media over the past couple of months.
However, an equally bigger humanitarian emergency is about to erupt – again – in the Southeast Asia and the international community remains as negligent as ever about it.
The United Nations has issued a warning over an expected surge of mostly Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees heading out into the Andaman Sea in September.
The last time these asylum-seekers, mainly hailing from Myanmar, made headlines was in May when police in Thailand discovered dozens of graves of suspected Rohingya migrants in an abandoned jungle camp.
Subsequently, thousands of refugees were discovered stranded in Southeast Asian waters; they were initially denied help from neighboring nations, including Indonesia and Malaysia.
The refusal to rescue these "boat people" – as they were collectively dubbed by international media – led to protests by human rights activists. After much outrage, several countries, including Japan, finally offered asylum.
The flow of boats eventually subsided but now the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has warned the crisis will resume before the end of the monsoon season in the region.
“We expect this to resume again in about a month,” said UNCHR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.
“There are appalling conditions on these boats and a bit of ping pong, and real concerns about access to territory.”
Thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape atrocities by Buddhist extremists in Myanmar by risking their lives on dilapidated vessels. Since the conditions in the country remain the same, members of the persecuted minority will yet again attempt to flee violence.
According to the agency, around 31,000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis left from the Bay of Bangal on boats since the beginning of the year; that’s almost 34 percent more people from the same period in 2014.
A total of 94,000 people are believed to have embarked on similar perilous journeys since 2014.
At least 1,100 more have reportedly drowned in the same time period.
The migrant crisis in Europe is undoubtedly one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of this decade.
As world leaders continue to work on a possible solution to the problem, it’s important that they do not leave out the refugees fleeing Myanmar and Bangladesh since they too deserve to be rescued and saved.
The Phuketwan journalists say this picture of emaciated Rohingya on the beach was given to them by the Thai navy [BBC - 1/9/15]
... On January 1, 2013, Phuketwan reporters travelled by speedboat to intercept a Rohingya boat off the southern Phuket destination of Rawai. This boat was different to other boats: there were women and children on board. We were shocked to see whole families in the basic primitive conditions that usually only the Rohingya menfolk experienced. This was because two outbreaks of violence in Burma's Arakan state in 2012 had led to the torching of family homes, and the refugee camps were being deprived of essentials by the Rohingya's hateful neighbors. The children said they were fleeing ''certain death.'' Those families were trucked back to Ranong and put back on another boat. ... [Phuketwan - 7/12/13]
A Ranong Immigration truck heads for the Andaman Club pier on Saturday [Phuketwan - 21/10/13]
UNHCR urges region to establish search and rescue effort before next expected wave of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh [Media Release - 28/8/15]
For nearly a year Australia has refused to accept UNHCR refugees.
Judge upholds Arizona's 'show your papers' immigration law
A federal judge has upheld part of Arizona's contentious immigration law, rejecting claims that the so-called "show your papers" section of the law discriminated against Hispanics.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on Friday was on the last of seven challenges to the 2010 law.
The section being upheld allows police in Arizona to check the immigration status of anyone they stop.
Bolton ruled that immigration rights activists failed to show that police would enforce the law differently for Hispanics than other people.
The section is sometimes called the "show your papers" provision.
The judge also upheld a section that let police check to see if a detainee is in the United States illegally.
Bolton voided any laws targeting day laborers.
Karen Tumlin, the legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, one of the parties to the suit, said the group was evaluating its options.
"We will continue working on behalf of our courageous plaintiffs to show that Arizona can do better than this disgraceful law," she said in a statement.
Bolton's ruling came two days after a federal judge approved a deal between the U.S. Department of Justice and Arizona's Maricopa County to resolve accusations of civil rights abuses and dismissed the department's lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies.
Second reading of this bill resumes in the Senate next week ----> Licence to Kill: Australia’s Maintaining the Good Order in Immigration Detention Facilities Bill 2015 [Border Criminologies - 12/5/15]
Supporting turning away refugee boats while encouraging Australians to #LightTheDark and "remember Aylan Kurdi" is OBSCENE and gives off a very strong whiff of cynical manipulation and co-optation.
If the organisers were fair dinkum they'd also be condemning ALP and LNP refugee policies, and calling for the immediate end to atrocities being committed against ALL refugees.
Living With Evil.
All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:
... As NGOs have taken on major government contracts for refugee and asylum-seeker services, such as the $19m contract Save the Children currently holds with the detention facilities on Nauru, these organisations have become structurally invested in maintaining government control over asylum seekers.
But liberal humanitarians are more deeply invested in government control over asylum seekers than can be explained by any direct financial benefit.
They may disagree with right-wing conservatives on how many refugees should be accepted, or the details of how those who are turned away should be treated, but they share the premise stated by John Howard during the Tampa crisis: ‘We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come.’ ...
The head of the department that oversees the Australian Border Force is initiating potentially costly legal proceedings at taxpayers’ expense in a bid to keep secret a single document about the federal government’s asylum seeker turnback operations, despite some of the material being publicly available. ... [Guardian - 2/9/15]
... I was asked to assist in processing 150 Tamil asylum seekers into the RPC 3. These Tamil asylum seekers were transferred during the night from Australia with no knowledge after being held at sea for an extensive period of time.
The asylum seekers spoke of being roughly handled by staff in Australia, pushed onto planes and sent to Nauru without their knowledge.
Immigration in Australia had attempted to separate families onto planes and this caused upset as they didn’t know where they would be going.
Some Men arrived to RPC1 with no shirts or shoes on, women had no bras on and were wearing oversized clothing and some children had no pants and no underwear on.
When asked what had happened the asylum seekers stated they were in the middle of doing their washing after being held on the boat for so long. Whilst they were doing washing they were forced onto the plane and all their belongings were left behind.
Men stated that their shirts were ripped off their backs and women’s bras were broken when they were man handled to get onto the plane to Nauru. They stated they were scared as they didn’t know where they were going and Australian staff were separating families.
They spoke of trauma from being on the boat where the Australian Navy separated the men women and children, splitting families up. Children were sick on the boat and medical care wasn’t provided.
Only allowed one hour outside their room on the boat per day.
Items being destroyed by Australian Navy
I worked with a family from boat id starting with SGN who stated that all their possessions were destroyed by the Australian Navy on the water. They were transferred to a the Navy boat and were told to leave their belongings behind and they would be transferred later.
The family discussed that once everyone was transferred to the Navy boat the Navy lit the boat with all their belongings on fire.
The family discussed their sadness watching all their life belongings sink to the bottom of the ocean. These belongings included money, passports, photos and clothing.
Tamil asylum seekers not illegally detained at sea: High Court [SBS - 28/1/15]
New Zealand government refers refugees to Australia [RNZI - 13/6/15]:
The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.
The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.
A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.
It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office. [The UNHCR Canberra have said nothing - as is their usual response to regional refugee issues - and the media have not asked them about the refugees' predicament.]
A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees.
... Nazmul Hassan, who identifies himself as one of the 65 in a Kupang detention centre, said they just wanted a peaceful life.
"We leave our country because of some problems and political violence and [too many problems]."
"We are really in trouble now, and under pressure now."
Mr Hassan said they were all confined to one room at the centre in West Timor. He said the group was mentally and physically exhausted. ... [RNZI - 7/6/15]
Sydney Morning Herald [2/6/15]:
... Fishermen spotted two boats floating near Landuti island in the West Rote district, 500 kilometres north-east of the Australian coast, on Sunday.
"They looked exhausted," Rote police chief Hidayat said.
"One female passenger is pregnant – we took her immediately to the hospital but she is ok now."
Mr Hidayat said the migrants told him they had been caught by Australian customs on May 26, who sunk their boat.
They were put in two blue and white boats, and sent back into Indonesian waters. ...
[The Garamut - 17/8/12]
6 September 2015