Protesters react as they hold placards and listen to speakers during a rally in support of refugees in central Sydney, Australia, October 19, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray
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Amnesty International called Wednesday for a full public inquiry into reports Australian officials paid people smugglers to turn back boats carrying asylum seekers, saying it had evidence to back the claim denied by the Australian government.This policy came under renewed fire in June when a boat captain and two crew members arrested on suspicion of human trafficking told Indonesian police that Australian officials paid them to take their vessel with 65 asylum seekers on board back to Indonesia.Amnesty said it had now interviewed all the adults on the boat and the six crew members who told its researchers that Australian officials paid them $32,000 to turn back the vessel with asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar.An immigration ministry official said the Australian government has repeatedly denied all the allegations in the Amnesty report.
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