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Dying for Australia: Part II

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

MELBOURNE, Australia -- It's mid-week on a chilly Melbourne morning, and from halfway across the world in London, a call comes in to the Asylum Seeker Resource Center (ASRC). On the other end of the line is a nervous Afghan woman. Pamela Curr, campaign coordinator at the ASRC picks up the message as she arrives for work: Another boat has been seized off Ashmore Reef and diverted to Christmas Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. There, the 70-odd Afghans on board will have their claims for asylum processed.

Among them is the cousin of the caller from London, who was desperately seeking a phone number for the Australian authorities on Christmas Island, so that she could check on her relative's welfare. ...

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