13 Iraqis, Afghans seek asylum in Batam

13 Iraqis, Afghans seek asylum in Batam
PHOTO: AFP

Thirteen Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers registered at Batam's immigration office on Thursday after arriving from Malaysia.

"We are seeking asylum in a country willing to accept us, because in our countries the situation could kill us," Syaheel bin Mohammad, 18, one of the asylum seekers, told reporters.

Head of the immigration surveillance division Rafli said his office had yet to examine the asylum seekers. He said his office would contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to discuss the arrival of the 13 people.

According to Rafli, his office was currently handling 217 asylum seekers from 32 countries. After being verified the IOM and UNHCR had declared 78 people as refugees and they were waiting for countries that would accept them.

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