Weekly media round-up No. 11

The European Court of Justice ruled that homosexuals with a well founded fear of persecution have the right to claim asylum in the European Union as members of a ‘particular social group’. The decision has particularly significant implications for homosexuals living in African nations that hold legal punishments for homosexuality.

Australian and Indonesian authorities openly disagreed about the Australian Government’s ongoing pursuit of its policy to turn back asylum seeker boats to Indonesia.

On Friday, Indonesian authorities refused Australia’s request to transfer 63 asylum seekers to the Indonesian mainland. An Australian naval vessel recovered the asylum seekers on Thursday morning from the Indonesian search and rescue zone.

During the incident Indonesian authorities outlined a new position, saying they would only facilitate boat turn backs if asylum seekers’ lives were at risk. The Australian immigration minister subsequently ordered that the asylum seekers be transferred to Manus Island or Nauru.

The Australian Government continues to be criticised for a lack of disclosure regarding asylum seeker boat arrivals. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson Young said she would use powers in the senate to compel the Australian Government to provide more information about Operation Sovereign Borders.

Australian media reported that two unaccompanied teenage boys are being held in isolation at the Manus Island detention facility. Subsequent to this report, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the boys would be moved to Christmas Island.