Tag Archives: Afghan Refugees

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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