Indonesia tougher than Somalia for refugees * somalia, World News and Opinion.
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Indonesia tougher than Somalia for refugees

Somalian refugee Igra hadn’t heard of Indonesia before being dumped in Jakarta by people smugglers.

The former hotel owner fled her civil war-wracked country in 2015 after militants threatened to cut off her hands for refusing to close down her business.

“Al-Shabaab said we don’t want you to work in a public place, you’re a woman. They caught me and beat me for seven days,” she tells AAP through a translator.

“After that, they burned down my hotel, so my father said just leave, save your life.”

The 27-year-old reveals her family was murdered by the militants after she fled. Igra paid traffickers to smuggle her to safety.

“They promised me a better life in a peaceful place where I could work but instead they brought me to Jakarta,” she said.

“I didn’t know it would be like this. It’s worse than Somalia. We don’t have food, we don’t have shelter, we don’t have medication and we don’t even have water to drink.”

Igra is homeless like many other asylum seekers and refugees unable to access aid or Indonesia’s immigration detention centres.

Her days are spent in the network of laneways that make up the district of Petamburan near Jakarta’s central shopping district.


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