Residents help a group of asylum-seeker survivors on the beach after being rescued by locals in the coastal village of Cianjur in Indonesia's western Java island Sept. 27, 2013. (AFP/Stringer)
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Asylum seekers trying to reach Australia claimed Wednesday that members of the Australian navy subjected them to verbal and physical mistreatment as their boat was towed back to Indonesia.Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refused to comment on the claims but insisted that Australian personnel act with the "highest levels of professionalism".It was the first reported instance that the Australian navy has turned a boat back without informing Indonesian authorities, and prompted fresh anger in Jakarta at Canberra's policies.After stopping on the island, the asylum seekers found themselves surrounded by members of the Australian navy, Ibrahim said.A Somalian migrant Marke Abdulah Ahmad, who was on the boat, also said the asylum seekers were subject to abuse.
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