469 Migrants Rescued Off Indonesian Coast

Indonesian rescue crews saved 469 migrants that were stranded on a wooden vessel this weekend. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, many of them were Rohingya Muslims that were fleeing persecution in Myanmar, and became “unable to land because of a crackdown on people-smuggling networks in Thailand and Malaysia.” Among the migrants rescued at sea were women and young children. Authorities also said that some of the travelers had died while at sea for seven days.

A spokesman for the Aceh Search and Rescue Agency said he had spoken to some of the rescued migrants, who recounted the terrible conditions they were fleeing: “He said the Muslims were beaten and had hot water poured on them and they just wanted to get out of Myanmar as soon as possible, to anywhere where they could seek refuge.” Officials in Thailand have called for a summit of local leaders to discuss ways to curb human traffickers involved in the often-deadly migrant sea journeys …

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