Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Twenty-three Myanmarese have applied for asylum seeker status to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) after they had waited for a year in Indonesia to be sent home.

"They have never received any explanation or been facilitated by the Myanmarese embassy in Jakarta regarding their return to their home country since a year ago and therefore they have applied for asylum status to the UNHCR," head of the Immigration Detention Center, Sugiyo, said here on Wednesday.

He said 23 Mynamarese who are all male had stayed at the center since October 2010 and submitted the application in the middle of this month.

They had come from several regions in Riau Islands province to be returned to their home country after being penalized for various violations.

Sugiyo said their application was now still being processed by the UNHCR.

"Only around six people have so far been acknowledged by UNHCR as asylum seekers while the cases of ten others are still being verified," he said.

Sugiyo said the number of illegal immigrants accommodated at the Tanjungpinang immigration center now reaches 382 coming from various countries mostly Middle Eastern countries.

"They came from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Sri Lanka and Myanmar," he said.

They are all illegal immigrants sent to the center from various regions in the country where they were caught by security authorities while trying to leave for other countries.

Most of them have been waiting for the deportation to their home countries or to be sent to third countries who are willing to receive them after being verified by the UNHCR. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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