Category Archives: Australia

Australia clamps down on information about asylum seekers

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Wilson

Australia’s government said on Monday it would no longer provide regular information on asylum boats turned away or on emergencies at sea involving asylum seekers under a new military operation to curb people trafficking. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, accused by rights groups of imposing a gag on an issue which split voters in a September 7 election, said the government would no longer provide full briefings on border protection incidents to safeguard operational security and avoid alerting trafficking syndicates. “The government is taking control of our borders, not the people smugglers,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney. “We are going to stop the boats. That is our commitment to the Australian … Continue reading

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Australia asylum needs military solution, says Tony Abbott

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott: "There is a national emergency on our borders..."

Australia’s opposition has called for a military solution to fight people smugglers, as the toll from the sinking of an asylum boat rose to 11. Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the issue was “a national emergency”, and he would ask a military commander to tackle the boats, if elected. The migrant boat sank off Indonesia’s Java island, a transit point for people-smugglers, on Wednesday.Asylum policy is due to be a key issue in elections this year in Australia. Australia has experienced a spike in asylum seekers arriving by boat this year. “There is a national emergency on our borders,” Mr Abbott said on Thursday. “That’s why we need to have … Continue reading

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Migrant boat capsizes off Australia’s Christmas Island

 Another boatload of 60 asylum seekers and three crew arrived on a boat at Flying Fish cove, Christmas Island. (File photo)

A boat carrying about 150 suspected asylum seekers has capsized off Australia’s Christmas Island with several casualties reported. The Australian border agency said four bodies had been found and 144 survivors had been picked up by navy ships, 70 nautical miles (130km) from the shore. Christmas island is located about 1,600 miles north-west off the mainland. Several boats carrying migrants heading for Australia have disappeared in recent months. After making a distress call, the boat was picked up and escorted by one of two navy ships carrying out the rescue. However, it tipped over in bad weather on its way to Christmas Island, with a large number of people entering … Continue reading

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