Indonesia blasts Australia for pushing back boat

Jakarta denounces detention and deportation of asylum seekers without any notification from Canberra.

    Indonesia blasts Australia for pushing back boat
    Activists and rights groups have heavily criticised Australia's policy towards asylum seekers [Reuters]

    Indonesia challenged Australia on Friday over its detention and deportation of 16 asylum seekers without informing Jakarta after their boat was intercepted by the Australian navy a week ago.

    The boat was seized on November 20 within 200 metres of Christmas Island, Reuters news agency reported.

    Australian authorities held the asylum seekers - who hailed from Bangladesh, India and Nepal - for four days before sending them back to Indonesia, the official Antara news agency reported.

    "We are concerned when some country like Australia ... rather than informing us and working with us, took unilateral action and pushed back the boat," Hasan Kleib, an Indonesian foreign ministry official, said.

    "Talk to us, call our law enforcement on what to do with this, rather than just shifting the burden, shifting the responsibility back to Indonesia," Kleib said on the sidelines of a migration conference.

    The United Nations and rights groups have criticised Australia over its hardline policy of intercepting asylum seekers who come by boat.

    Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, met President Joko Widodo for the first time this month, hoping to mend ties strained by his predecessor, Tony Abbott, who had angered Jakarta with his policy of towing back to Indonesia vessels carrying asylum seekers, among other issues.

    The Australian government refused to confirm or comment on the latest incident.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    FGM: The last cutting season

    FGM: The last cutting season

    Maasai women are spearheading an alternative rite of passage that excludes female genital mutilation.

    'No girl is safe': The mothers ironing their daughters' breasts

    Victims of breast ironing: It felt like 'fire'

    Cameroonian girls are enduring a painful daily procedure with long lasting physical and psychological consequences.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.