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Returned Sri Lanka migrants vent fury at Australia

Published on Jul 8, 2014 8:10 PM
 
Sri Lankan asylum seekers sent back by Australia queue to enter the magistrate's court in the southern port district of Galle on July 8, 2014. Sri Lankan migrants aboard a boat that was controversially turned back mid-sea by Australia slammed Canberra on Tuesday, claiming they were abused, given little food and water and treated "worse than dogs". -- PHOTO: AFP

GALLE (AFP) - Sri Lankan migrants aboard a boat that was controversially turned back mid-sea by Australia slammed Canberra on Tuesday, claiming they were abused, given little food and water and treated "worse than dogs".

The group of 41 migrants, including four women and nine children, appeared in a court in the southern Sri Lankan city of Galle, where most were granted bail on charges of illegally leaving the country.

As anxious relatives waited outside the colonial-era building, magistrate Umesh Kalansuriya granted bail to 27 of the group, remanded five into custody and discharged the children.

Some of the women, one carrying a baby and clutching their children's hands, wept as police told the magistrate that the group had broken immigration laws, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of two years.

 
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