Afghan refugee sets himself on fire in North Sumatra – Archipelago
Medan, North Sumatra ●
Wed, December 1, 2021
An Afghan asylum seeker set himself on fire on Tuesday in Medan, north Sumatra, to protest his seven-year wait to be resettled in a third country, a local refugee coordinator said.
The man suffered severe burns and was sent to hospital.
He was participating in a rally with other displaced Afghans outside the UN refugee agency’s office in Medan, coordinator Muhammad Juma said.
Thousands of refugees, more than half from Afghanistan, are stuck in limbo in Indonesia as they wait to be resettled elsewhere as Jakarta forbids them to legally work.
The man has been in the country since early 2016, Juma told reporters.
The coordinator said at least 14 Afghan refugees had committed suicide in Indonesia in recent years and six more had attempted suicide.
He called on the Indonesian government and the UN to do more to remedy their situation.
Mitra Salima Suryono, spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said the agency was following the incident closely.
“We are very concerned about the incident and will continue to coordinate with related parties to overcome the situation,” she said. AFP.