Afghan Immigrants in Indonesian Jails…Where is UNHCR?

Hundreds of Afghan immigrants have been arrested in Indonesian jails. (Reuters Photo)

Hundreds of Afghan immigrants have been arrested in Indonesian jails. (Reuters Photo)

Kabul June 08–After two boat-tragedies, the Foreign Ministry spoke last week asking Indonesian Government to treat the Afghan illegal immigrants according to the principles of human rights. The Afghan Embassy in Jakarta has been asked to contact Indonesian officials to ensure return of the detained refugees, who have fled the country due to insurgency and unemployment.

According to reports, there have been an influx of Afghan illegal immigrants trying to enter Australia through Indonesian sea since January 2009. Hundreds of illegal immigrants including youth, children and women have been trying to reach Australia and other western countries illegally. Taliban insurgency, unemployment, corruption, skyrocketing price hike and a hopelessness for future in this country, compel thousands of youth to think about fleeing the country.

The first story came in the second week of January, when a boat sank and four Afghans died another 18 missing in Indonesian sea. The Government didn’t bothered to follow the story. In April Indonesian police detained about 22 Afghans migrants . The immigrants were said to be trying to enter Australia by boats through human smugglers. Later in May about 70 others were arrested by Indonesian police. Reportedly during the last couple of months more than 300 Afghans have been arrested and detained by the Indonesian Police. They are living in worst conditions deprived of health facilities with no permission to access UNHCR.

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has also demanded all the countries to treat Afghan refugees as per the principles of human right conventions. In a statement after some Australian and Indonesian newspapers reported about the plea of detained refugees, AIHRC criticized the Indonesian Govt. asking to treat the refugees according to human rights convintion.

The tragedy hit the headlines in Afghanistan last week when about 15 Afghans were found dead in eastern Indonesia. It was then, that the Foreign Ministry bothered to take the issue up on diplomatic level with Indonesian officials asking release of the arrested refugees. It may be mentioned that the dead bodies of all victims of the human smuggling have not been sent to Afghanistan to their relatives.

The recent wave of attempts to flee the country through illegal immigration shows great concerns about how the youth of the country are hopeless about their future. They risk life to reach Australia or any other western country.

Some of the detainees talking to media in Jakarta have demanded of UNHCR to intervene in their plea.  Strange is that how could UNHCR is idle after such tragedic consecutive news of illegal immigrants drowning in Indonesian sea.

Today after seven years of international efforts in Afghanistan, and billions of dollars poured in this country–though gone to Govt. corruption–people are deprived of the very basic necessities to survive. Employment and skyrocketing price hike has worsened the already trickled down economy. Insurgency and huge corruption in the Government causes more hopelessness to an Afghan.


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11 responses to “Afghan Immigrants in Indonesian Jails…Where is UNHCR?

  1. I have been in Indonesia in JAil for three months there
    But I come back to country because of one my have cadnaped my son here by some there now Iam in afghanistan, looking for my son find him , save my others wife

  2. john

    I have been in the indonesian immigration jail to about six months and they are keeping it by people from birma to beat and put fear to the prissoners that are there you can not even get make contact with your one Ambasador or consulalte the first nigth when i was there they did not even give you a matras or a tikar you can get that the nexst day but you have to pay for it the time that i was there the indonesian officers and the director of that prisson came and asked money so that you can change to a bigger cell the price of one cell was about 500.000 roepia if you did not have any money than you have to stay in your cell the Indonesian officers that was in control i did met them again at the airport when the immigation officers thats their way of getting money from foreners indonesian koruptor number 1 they should go to court and put in jail i met also a man that was so beaten up that they almost killed him they did not even called a doctor i think that he is still in there

  3. ali

    i was 1 year and 3 mount in jail in indonesia .when you come 1 night they will keep you in cell if you have money you can change your cell to big room if you dont have you should stay in your cell till you get free .they will not open your cell untill 2 weeks or you have to pay .if you have money your cell is 24 hours is open if dont pay your cell will be open from 10 o clock untill 6 o clock . some rich people pay money to chif and you can see they are free 24 hours but you are kept in your cell and cant get out to take shower or do some ting even you dont have water in your cell they dont care about you just money can do any ting there.they will beat you if you ask your right with out money .i hope th UNHCR will think about us because we are not criminal person just refugee in indonesia .thanks

  4. Sayed nader shah

    Dear Sir `
    I was one of the person by the of Sayed
    nadershah I Return back to Afghanistan for
    searching my son there to find out about him some Escapt him from house Area
    So , I could not find My Enomi find more problem If I Stay in afghanistan Come to pakistan that the UNHCR Will Help me
    IT since tow close So I need Help from UNHCr

  5. hijabindonesian

    yes, i confess that corruption flourishes here. but, Under the current Indonesian president who did alots to tackle down corruption, those immigration officers shouldn’t ask bribes from anybody, especially refugee who must be helped! i just hope there is no one from afghanistan who will come to my country as refugees again. or if u or ur friends are asked some money by those officers, at least u should tell that to the indonesian media which is always hightlighted bout this refugee matters so those officers will be ashamed n punished by law. PS : plz tell to afghan goverment to stop a war. thus, other countries, including Indonesia, don’t have to be bothered by illegal immigrants’s problems. Allah Hafiz.

  6. Dear Sir
    6 months ago some of my friends backed to Afghanistan from Indonesia after as they tried their luck to reach Australia but captured by Indonesian Police. They said that they were kept in worst condition of jail that prison had no place of foil even as a result most prisoner fell in serious disease. I think Indonesian authority should facilities to refugees according to UN convention. If Indonesian Government can not afford that they had better the refugees to reach Australian without any restriction.

  7. Hijabindonesian

    @Willayat : what do u think who u r ? u can’t command my country that way…if Indonesia lets all illegal immigrants to australia, Then Indonesia’s reputation will go down n Australia aggressively has been forcing Indonesia to restrict Immigrants that r heading to Australia. anyway, Indonesia is not ready to provide many detention center for a thousand of illegal immigrants coz it happens only the recent years. we got our own problem so plz don’t add problems in my country.



  9. Felix Sharieff

    the most rubbish demands I’ve ever read.your boats and the people inside of it don’t have legal paper and passport,thats why the indonesian immigration detains you!you people should be thankful just to be put in jail,what if you all send back home?show a little respect!

  10. shekib

    Shame to you who call themselves Muslim and panishing other Muslim siblings in such irrespectful way. The Muslims should not complain from Jews and what they do against Plastinian. While the Muslim theselves don’t respect other Muslim who are in need of your assistance and who are in bad condition.
    once see around and learn, how the other religious communites respect each other, at least learn from them!!!!! Instead of supporting your government who panish the most innocent people who seek asylum ask your government to treat them like human not like animal. This is the duty of a Muslim!!!!

  11. jawad

    i think that Afghans are the most unlucky people in the world because on one hand there is not any working opportunity and on the other hand there is not any good security situation in there country, therefore united nation is obliged and responsible to afford some facilities and contributions to have at least a better life for them.
    so Indonesia or any other country that has the ability and authority has to assimilate afghans.

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