Sun, Jul 21, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Asylum seekers riot on Nauru

BACKLASH:Australia’s decision to send boat people seeking asylum there to Papua New Guinea resulted in refugees in an Australian center on Nauru resorting to violence


The first group of passengers to be affected by the new arrangement was intercepted off northern Australia in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Burke said the boatload of 89 — “entirely or almost entirely” Iranians — would be offered the choice of either pressing ahead with an asylum claim and being sent to Papua New Guinea, or transfer to another country.

He defended a major A$2.1 million publicity blitz on the new scheme targeting key migrant groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, as hundreds of protesters gathered for snap rallies across Australia.

In contrast, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said he had been “struck by the level of support both in the Pacific region and beyond” for the plan.

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