Indian Ocean "boat people" crisis sheds light on "Australia's Gitmo"
Rights advocates are protesting an Australian detainment camp on a remote Indian Ocean island as the "new Guantánamo Bay." Christmas Island, a full 1,000 miles from the Australia mainland, is currently holding some 1,500 asylum seekers from Afghanistan and other Asian countries. A group of 39 "boat people" from Sri Lanka, rescued by a gas tanker after their makeshift craft sank in Australian territorial waters about 600 kilometers northwest of the Cocos Islands, are currently en route to the island.
The island's detention center is located deep in the jungle and secured by a 13-foot electrified fence. Having only opened in December last year, the camp has seen almost daily arrivals from asylum seekers, and is approaching maximum capacity. (Global Visas, Nov. 5; Australia Network News, Nov. 4; The Australian, Nov. 3
Australia has previously detained asylum-seekers on remote Pacific islands.
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