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How an Afghan refugee crisis at sea transformed Australia policy

2021-08-26 09:37:54       source:The Aljazeera

August 25, 2021

Melbourne, Australia – In August 2001, an Indonesian fishing boat carrying 433 asylum seekers was en route to Australia’s Christmas Island, when its engine failed in international waters.

The Australian Coast Guard called on a Norwegian freighter nearby to conduct a rescue operation.

Many on board the Indonesian vessel were Afghans who were fleeing persecution from the Taliban and included several pregnant women and children. When the MV Tampa’s captain, Arne Rinnan, arrived on the scene, he found the refugees in an obvious “bad state”.

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