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  • » 08/10/2012, 00.00

    INDONESIA - AUSTRALIA

    Canberra rescues over 200 refugees, set sail from Indonesia



    All seek political asylum in Australian territory. On board the boat, intercepted off Christmas Island, citizens from Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Controversy in Australia about the condition of vehicles used to patrol. In 2012 more than 7 thousand refugees received.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Authorities in Canberra rescued more than 200 refugees, who set sail onboard a makeshift boat from the Indonesia in search of a refuge and political asylum on Australian soil. Official sources confirm that the national coast guard is facing a real emergency in an attempt to stem the tide of boat people. In order to reach the people in time the Navy had to push their vessels to the limits, succeeding to rescue about 211 people adrift near the Christmas Island in Indonesian waters, through a much used route to reach - not without enormous risks - the coasts of Australia.

    Chris Bowen, Australian Minister for Immigration, said that "the boat was rescued by the Australian navy" because it encountered "great difficulty". Today's is the largest recovery operation, for the number of persons contained on board a single boat. This year alone at least 7 thousand boat people are able to reach the coasts of Australia, for a total of 108 boats. Higher than the record level in 2010 with 6,555 landings; last year 4,565 refugees arrived.

    Among the nationalities on board, according to the minister in Canberra, are citizens of Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Meanwhile, the controversy rages in Australia about the conditions of the vessels used to help the refugees. It has emerged that the ship was damaged with serious cracks near the engine and on the bridge. The authorities have not ruled out opening an investigation, and have ordered a check on all 14 vessels comprising the fleet.

    The waters that separate Indonesia and Christmas islands are a beaten track for refugees and asylum seekers who transit through Indonesia and with the help of unscrupulous traffickers try to get by every means to Australia. The continent is a popular destination for ordinary people, persecuted, political prisoners, or poor people trying to escape from a theater of war. The boats used for transportation, however, are inadequate, overcrowded and in poor condition for navigation. In December 2010 50 people died when their boat sank off the island.

     

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    See also

    27/06/2012 INDONESIA - AUSTRALIA
    Boat with 150 refugees shipwrecked off Christmas Island
    The occupants were headed for Australia, a route used by human traffickers. Last week another boat with 200 refugees sank with more than 90 victims. Canberra demands agreements to curb phenomenon. Asylum seekers come from poor areas or theaters of war such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

    15/12/2010 INDONESIA-AUSTRALIA
    Tragedy at sea: 50 Iranian and Iraqi refugees drown off the coast of Australia
    An Indonesian fishing boat carrying dozens of men, women and children seeking asylum in Australia capsized and crashed into rocks off Christmas Island in the sea south of Java. Weather conditions hamper rescue efforts. At least 33 injured survivors, three seriously.

    04/02/2016 09:37:00 AUSTRALIA
    Australian churches offer themselves as a "sanctuary for refugees" who risk deportation

    The High Court rules "legitimate"  the government's decision to move hundreds of migrants on the island of Nauru, where there are some prisons that "host" asylum seekers. Christian communities in the country offer their facilities to prevent deportation. The executive: "The Christians have the right to think whatever they want, but they are not above the law." Thousands march for migrants.


     



    18/05/2013 VIETNAM - AUSTRALIA
    Vietnamese boat people return, fleeing regime and poverty, 40 years after the war
    In early 2013, at least 450 people have left the country on makeshift boats headed for Australia. A number greater than the total in the last five years, and a growing phenomenon. But Canberra rarley recognizes them as refugees and Hanoi does not want them.

    24/05/2011 AUSTRALIA - VIETNAM
    Fr. Vincent Van Long Nguyen: from refugee fleeing for his faith, to bishop in Australia
    The Vietnamese priest has left the country at 18,, on a small boat with other refugees. Benedict XVI appointed him auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, sparking the joy of the Vietnamese community in Australia. Local priest: his example will serve to increase vocations.



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