First four refugees from Nauru land in Cambodia in $40m resettlement deal
Bishkek (AKIpress) – Four refugees who had been held at the Australian-run detention centre on Nauru finally landed in Cambodia on Thursday morning, nine months after a $40m deal was forged with Australia to resettle refugees there.
Shortly after 10am, Malaysian Airlines flight MH754 touched down in Phnom Penh, about 30 minutes ahead of schedule, bearing a Rohingya man, an Iranian couple and another Iranian man the only four out of hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers to take up the deal to live in Cambodia, reports The Guardian.
The refugees were taken by an airport people carrier to the VIP terminal, which is typically used by royalty, government officials and dignitaries.
Their arrival comes after Cambodia deported dozens of asylum-seeker Montagnards back to Vietnam, where they claim they are persecuted for their Christian beliefs and culture. In 2009 Cambodia forcibly deported 20 Uighur asylum seekers to China at gunpoint.
The Australian government is redoubling its efforts to urge more asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru to take up the resettlement deal. A new five-page fact sheet, seen by Guardian Australia, is being circulated to asylum seekers within the detention centre.