Asylum seekers refuse to leave boat in Indonesia

April 10: About 120 people from Iran and Afghanistan were rescued when their boat sank on the journey from Indonesia to Australia. They are now refusing to leave the boat that rescued them and took them back to Indonesia. The Singapore-registered tanker, Hernia, is moored in the busy port of Merak, on the west coast of Java.

“The people do not want to get off the ship because they want to be in Australia,” said a spokesman for Indonesia’s director-general of immigration.

A similar occupation happened in 2009, when a group of Tamil refugees refused to leave the Oceanic Viking, an Australian Customs Service patrol vessel, which had stopped their boat and taken them back to Indonesia. They stayed on the ship for a month, until they were promised fast-track resettlement in Australia for people judged to be refugees by the UN.

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