Senate hearings showed that Australia’s offshore detention program cost the government an estimated $1.2 billion in the last financial year. Charter flights between Nauru, Manus Island and Australia accounted for $20,265,000 of the total cost. The return to Nauru of pregnant 23 year-old Somali refugee, Abyan (pseudonym), cost $115,000.
A senior Thai police officer, Major General Paween Pongsirin, is seeking political asylum in Australia. Pongsirin, who had been leading an investigation into the trafficking of Rohingya asylum seekers, fears for his life following arrest warrants being issued to prominent politicians, police officers and military figures. Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson expressed concerns for Pongsirin’s safety.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released its Statistical Yearbook for 2014. A record high of nearly 1.7 million applications for asylum were submitted to governments and UNHCR offices in 157 countries in 2014.
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