Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Doubts cast on more Nauru refugee arrivals




Doubts cast on more Nauru refugee arrivals

Participants at a vigil in Australia on Wednesday observe a minute silence for two refugees who set themselves on fire on Nauru. AFP
Participants at a vigil in Australia on Wednesday observe a minute silence for two refugees who set themselves on fire on Nauru. AFP

Doubts cast on more Nauru refugee arrivals

Cambodian immigration authorities yesterday confirmed they were told two new refugees on Nauru had volunteered to re-settle in the Kingdom, but as the Australian government remained tight-lipped, refugee advocates cast doubt on the news.

Tan Sovichea, refugee director of the Interior Ministry’s immigration department, said the Australian government informed them of two potential new arrivals last month, although no official paperwork had been received.

But Sovichea said after recent cases of self-immolation on Nauru, the Australian government was “now very quiet”. Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali died last Friday and Somali woman Hodan Yasi was left in a critical condition on Monday after both set themselves on fire.

One refugee on Nauru, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were unaware of anyone who had put up their hand for the scheme. “No, there is no one willing to go to Cambodia. I am 100 per cent sure about this,” they said.

An Australian department of immigration spokesman would not confirm if they had notified the Cambodian authorities of two new transferees, but reiterated that both nations “remain committed” to the deal.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the notion was “pretty doubtful”, despite the “complete social meltdown” on Nauru.

Mohammed Rashid, a Rohingya refugee who transferred to Cambodia under the scheme in November, said yesterday he would not advise anyone to follow in his footsteps.

Three of five refugees to come to Cambodia under the $A55 million scheme have returned to their home countries.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Police arrest 29 Chinese for PP kidnapping

    Phnom Penh Military Police arrested 29 Chinese nationals on kidnapping charges on Wednesday. The suspects are said to have abducted three other Chinese nationals from a hotel in Chaktomuk commune, Daun Penh district. The operation took place on Wednesday and was led by two deputy commanders –