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Law expert: 'Stop acting as Australia`s gatekeeper in boat people' KUPANG, EAST NUSA TENGGARA - Indonesia has been urged to stop acting as the policeman or gatekeeper of Australia in trying to prevent foreign immigrants from crossing Indonesian waters to reach Australia, an international law expert said on Friday.

"So far, Indonesia has been acting as Australias policeman and has worked hard to prevent illegal immigrants from reaching Australia. Its time for Indonesia to stop acting as Australias police," Welem Wetan Songa of the University of Nusa Cendana (Undana) said.

He stated that such an action was needed in response to the wire-tapping conducted by the Australian surveillance agency. As long as they are in Indonesia with legal documents, they are free to go where ever they want, including to Australia, Songa said.

Alternatively, Indonesia can continue acting as Australias police, but Australia should reciprocate by releasing traditional Indonesian fishermen being detained in Australias jails, he added.

As Australia and Indonesia share maritime borders, foreign immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, often referred to as the boat people, have used Indonesia as a transit country for their travel to Australia.

But, bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia have become strained following media reports revealing that in 2009, the Australian government tapped the private phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and several ministers and government officials.

In a strong protest over the illegal wire-tapping conducted by Australian surveillance agencies, Indonesia had recalled its ambassador to Australia.


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25 November 2013 · 'Islamic parties have no strong figure to unite them'
23 November 2013 · Yudhoyono receives Abbott`s response letter to wiretapping
23 November 2013 · Indonesia suspends police cooperation with Australia
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Related blog entries (category 'Politics') Tags: illegal, immigrant, Australia, guard, stop, cooperation


Posted in Politics @ 29 November 2013 14:55 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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