Pregnant Refugee From Somaliland Deported From Airport In Indonesia

On January 9th, a 35-year-old unidentified pregnant woman from Somaliland was detained upon arrival at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia and ultimately deported on the 14th of January. The woman was said to be a refugee seeking asylum in Indonesia.

According to Amnesty International Indonesia, the woman had sought asylum in Indonesia in 2016 but had returned to Somaliland in December 2021 due to pressure from her family. Upon return to her home country, the woman is said to have experienced domestic violence that endangered her physical and psychological health as well as her pregnancy, which resulted in her re-seeking asylum in Indonesia.

On January 13th, Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid pleaded with Indonesian immigration officials, stating “we urge that the Somaliland refugee be immediately given access to hospitals and medical assistance or other basic needs that she needs. Preventing these Somaliland refugees from getting proper access to health is a violation of human rights.”

“We also urge that immigration officials not deport this refugee as there are allegations that she was the victim of forced marriage and domestic violence in her home country.”.

On the 15th of January representatives of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Jakarta confirmed to CNN Indonesia that the woman in question was deported. “We deeply regret the decision of the Indonesian immigration authorities to deport the Somali refugee woman”, the agency stated.

Indonesia seems to be in direct violation of international human rights, refugee, humanitarian and customary laws, as the principle of non-refoulement stipulates that states must not send refugees and asylum seekers back to places where their lives are threatened.

It is not clear where the woman currently is in Somaliland and what her status of well-being is.

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