Plane with four refugees from Australian detention lands in Cambodia: officials

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 04, 2015 12:11 AM

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - A plane carrying four refugees from an Australian detention center on Nauru landed in Cambodia on Thursday, airport officials said, the only asylum seekers to take part in a controversial resettlement project between the two countries.

"The plane has just landed, they have not checked out yet," Chuor Kimny, police chief at the Phnom Penh international airport, told Reuters, referring to the refugees.

The deal between Cambodia and Australia, struck last September, has been criticized by rights groups and the political opposition in both countries, who accuse Australia of shirking international obligations by dumping asylum seekers on other countries.

The refugees are three Iranians and one Rohingya, a mostly stateless Muslim minority residing in Myanmar, according to the Refugee Action Coalition in Australia. They were among the 677 detainees held on the Pacific Island of Nauru.

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Robert Birsel)