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Jakarta Post

Asylum seekers refuse to move from Central Jakarta sidewalks

Asylum seekers refuse to move from Central Jakarta sidewalks Asylum seekers sit on the sidewalks of Kebon Sirih, Jakarta, on Friday, hoping to gain protection from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)
News Desk
Jakarta   ●   Sat, July 6, 2019 2019-07-06 13:19 675 0290f9de4aeb62f98549b410b501a3da 4 City asylum,asylum-seekers,UNHCR,Central-Jakarta,refugee,refugees Free

Asylum seekers from several war-torn countries are camped out on the sidewalks of Jl. Kebon Sirih in Central Jakarta as they wait for clarification from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Dozens of asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan are gathered on the sidewalks in front of the UN body's office.

“We moved here because the UNHCR office is near. We were not allowed to stay at the old place in Kalideres,” Rahman Akhlaqi, 18, an asylum seeker, said on Thursday as reported by kompas.com.

He was referring to the Jakarta Immigration Detention Center in Kalideres, West Jakarta. The center has a limited capacity ,with 83 rooms that can only accommodate 120 people, forcing others to seek shelter elsewhere. 

He and dozens of other of asylum seekers had placed their hopes on the UNHCR to provide them shelter and protection.

“I have been living in Indonesia for three years. I have been camping out in Kebon Sirih for the past five days,” he added.

Another asylum seeker, 49-year-old Abdulali Ashuri, said he did not want to return to his war-torn home country of Afghanistan. 

“What I want is protection. To live in a peaceful country like Indonesia and not return to Afghanistan,” he said. (tru)