Here’s the most radically horrifying story we’ve seen today: according to Amnesty International, Australian government officials are bribing people-smuggling ship captains to turn their boats around and land on Indonesia instead.
Even more staggering: they’re intercepting boats that are not even bound for Australia and handing them money which amounts to years’ worth of wages for a South Seas captain.
No refugee can possibly outbid the Australian government, and no greedy captain can possibly overlook the chance to get paid twice: once by desperate refugees, and once by a government determined to keep inconvenient migrants confined to the archipelago of Indonesia.
Amnesty International says it has “damning evidence” Australian officials paid human smugglers to turn boats with asylum seekers and migrants around.
Seems we are cynical, but just not cynical enough. This is, apparently, business as usual and official policy in Australia, even though the officials quoted in the linked article have denied it.