Monday, 8 April 2013

Indonesia detains 80 Myanmar Rohingya

Source, 8 April

INDONESIAN police have detained 80 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar (Burma) on a remote island off Sumatra after they got lost attempting to reach Malaysia, an official says.

It was the latest boatload of Rohingya to arrive on the shores of Indonesia, as thousands flee Myanmar after tensions between Muslims and Buddhists exploded in their home state of Rakhine last year.

The migrants, including five women and six children, arrived late Sunday morning on the island in Pulo Aceh, a cluster of tiny islands off the northwestern coast of Sumatra, local police official September Sembiring said.

"Their boat is still in good condition and they have enough food and fuel. They said they wanted to go to Malaysia but lost their way," he said.

"They are all well. Two had stomach problems but nothing major."

They were being held in a large hall at the local police station and were likely to be sent to the mainland where their cases would be assessed by immigration officials, he added.

On Friday police in Surabaya city, East Java province, detained 35 Rohingya hiding out in a flat who had been planning to make the treacherous sea crossing to Australia, according to police.

Many Rohingya arriving in Indonesia face long stints in detention centres awaiting UN assessment for refugee status.

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