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Afghan refugees in Indonesia sew lips to protest UNHCR inaction

Afghan refugees in Indonesia have sewn their lips shut in an attempt to draw UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) attention as the organisation has allegedly failed to address their problems and process their asylum-seeking cases

Dec 07, 2021
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Afghan refugees in Indonesia sew lips to protest UNHCR inaction (Photo: Republic World)

Afghan refugees in Indonesia have sewn their lips shut in an attempt to draw UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) attention as the organisation has allegedly failed to address their problems and process their asylum-seeking cases.

TOLOnews quoted the refugees as saying they have been stranded in Indonesia for nearly a decade and no one is listening to them or addressing their problems.

“The protesters have no other demands except resettlement,” Aman Shafahi, an asylum seeker, was quoted as saying.

Another refugee, Asif Rahimi, said, “The UNHCR has a double standard with the Afghan refugees. It has been 7 to 10 years that Afghan refugees are living in Indonesia."

As per a refugee association's data, around 4,000 Afghan refugees are stranded in Indonesia. The refugees said Indonesian officials do not allow them to work legally in the country.

There are reports on social media saying the refugees have been waiting for nearly a decade to get through the process of resettlement.

Slamming organisations like UNHCR and International Organization for Migration, the reports said it is their negligence that forced the Afghan-Hazarad refugees, living in Indonesia, to sew their lips.

Lal Gul Lal, head of the Afghan Human Rights Organization, said, "We call on the UNHCR to help Afghan refugees who have been living in dire conditions for more than a decade."

According to TOLOnews, in recent years, at least 14 Afghan refugees committed suicide in Indonesia and six others attempted suicide.(SAM)

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