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Indonesia's asylum-seekers allege mistreatment by Australian navy

Published on Jan 8, 2014 7:20 PM

KUPANG, Indonesia (AFP) - Asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia claimed on Wednesday that members of the Australian navy subjected them to verbal and physical mistreatment as their boat was towed back to Indonesia.

One of the migrants, Yousif Ibrahim from Sudan, said they were handcuffed, called insulting names, and one was beaten with shoes before and during their voyage back to Indonesia where they arrived on Monday.

The 28-year-old also said four people were left with burn marks on their hands when they were forced to hold on to a hot pipe on their boat as punishment for wanting to go to the toilet.

"We asked for water, they didn't want to give us. They called us inhuman words, like illegal refugees, monkeys from Africa," he said, adding that two sick children were denied medicine.

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