Australians protest drowning of refugees

This video says about itself:

Australians protest over refugee boat accident

24 June 2012

Australia has ended a three-day search for survivors from a refugee boat accident off remote Christmas Island, with little hope for around 90 people still missing.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Saturday searches of the sea north of the island had failed to find any more survivors, with the last living person found on Thursday night.

Protesters have marched in Sydney asking whether the tragedy could have been prevented.

Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.

By Oliver Campbell in Australia:

Many feared dead in Australian refugee disaster

23 June 2012

A refugee boat, thought to be carrying more than 200 people, and attempting to sail from Indonesia to Australia, was found capsized on Thursday, about 110 nautical miles north of Australia’s Christmas Island. Though reports remain unclear, it appears that between 90 and 100 people are missing, feared dead.

The bodies of three men have been recovered, while 109 people, including a 13-year-old boy, have been rescued and taken to Christmas Island, where they will be detained.

All of the passengers were reportedly male. Most were believed to be from war-torn Afghanistan. According to some reports, refugees clinging to pieces of debris were sighted as far as three nautical miles from the boat. Those who remain missing are in rough seas, and may not have life jackets.

The tragic loss of life is the latest in a series of disasters that flows directly from the Australian Labor government’s so-called “border protection” policy, which seeks to prevent asylum seekers entering Australia by boat, thus forcing desperate people to make increasingly hazardous journeys in a bid to escape detection.

Most recently, as many as 200 people drowned last December when a boat sank off the coast of East Java on its way to Australia. A year earlier, more than 50 asylum seekers died when a vessel known as SIEV 221 crashed against rocks off Christmas Island in December 2010.

As in all the past tragedies, unanswered questions have emerged about whether Australian authorities could have saved the passengers’ lives. At least 41 hours passed between the boat’s first reported distress call and when it was found capsized—plenty of time for a search and rescue operation.

Moreover, disparities exist between the timeline issued by the Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare and faxes received by the Indonesian search and rescue authorities from their Australian counterparts.

The second refugee boat sinking in less than a week has underscored the deadly consequences of the Australian government’s “border protection” regime: here.

Retired diplomat points to Australian culpability for refugee deaths: here.

The People Smuggler puts a human face on those involved in refugee boat voyages, and exposes myths peddled by the Australian government: here.

There is a bipartisan policy in Canberra of using indefinite detention in primitive conditions to deter all refugees from seeking asylum in Australia: here.

Indonesia demands suspension of Australian naval operations against refugees: here.

One Iranian asylum seeker was killed and 77 other detainees reportedly injured, two critically, in violent attacks by police and security guards against protesting refugees inside the Australian government’s detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Monday night. The horrific incident underscores the criminality and barbarism of the “border protection” regime that is defended by the entire political establishment in Australia: here.

14 thoughts on “Australians protest drowning of refugees

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