“’We are shocked by the accounts we heard [from the survivors],’ said Mr. Andrej Mahecic, UNHCR spokesperson. ‘It gives UNHCR cause for concern that these people report being passed by many vessels without any assistance being offered. This is contrary to the long-standing maritime tradition of rescue at sea which has been under threat and is increasingly being eroded.’”
“He added that the agency would be very concerned if the hardening of government policies towards boat people has the effect of discouraging ship masters from continuing to honour their international maritime obligations.”
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