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   Rescued refugees stranded off Singapore

    mercredi 12 décembre 2012


Singapore has denied entry to the "Nosco Victory" cargo ship carrying 40 Burmese asylum seekers who were plucked from the sea after their boatm the "Nayou" sank in the Bay of Bengal. The asylum seekers are believed to have been in the water for 30 hours before the "Nosco Victory" rescued them on Dec 5, meaning they would have been in a distressed state. They are believed to be still aboard the ship which is actually anchored off Singapore. Their condition is unknown. The Nosco Victory’s captain ignored advice by Indian rescue authorities to take the asylum seekers to the "nearest port of safety", which probably would have been a Bangladeshi port. The ship was due to dock in Singapore on Dec 9. The asylum seekers are believed to Rohingyas, a Muslim minority who were fleeing western Burma, where ethnic violence erupted in June. They were plucked from the sea after the overcrowded Bangladesh-flagged "Nayou" sank at about midday on December 4. Up to 160 other Rohingya aboard the ship were believed to have drowned. The "Nayou" was en route to Muslim-majority Malaysia, where there is a large Rohingya population.