8 Aug 2006

Asylum seekers rejected by Australia die in Afghanistan - report

2:34 pm on 8 August 2006

Reports from Australia say nine rejected asylum seekers are believed to have been killed on their return to Afghamistan.

The claim has been made by Phil Glendenning, who is the director of the Edmund Rice Centre.

He says the nine deaths were reported in interviews with rejected asylum seekers and were supported by church and health workers.

In one account, a Afghan deported after 16 months on Christmas Island and Nauru despite his pleas that he and his family would be killed lost his two children.

The Australian immigration minister, Amanda Vanstone, has dismissed the report, saying the centre has made similar claims before, but never in enough detail for her department to investigate.