Marie DhumieresFebruary 14, 2014 09:33
JAKARTA — At first, the locals didn’t know what to think when the strange vessel washed up on Indonesian shores in early February. The police described the large, bright orange, unidentified object as “alien looking.” It was oddly swank compared to the usual refugee craft. Inside, police found 34 asylum seekers from Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The youngest was just 18 months old. It turned out that the vessel was one of about twelve lifeboats Australia reportedly purchased for $40,000 each, to “push back” migrants seeking to reach Australia, arguably in violation of international law.