View of a portion of the ocean rock formations known as the '12 Apostles' at Port Campbell National Park in Victoria, Australia, in this file picture taken October 19, 2010. REUTERS/Clarissa Cavalheiro/Files
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Australia Thursday hailed its controversial regime of turning back asylum-seeker boats as a success after 600 days with no vessels arriving, and almost 700 people being repelled since the policy was launched.Amnesty has also called for an independent review into allegations that Australian authorities paid crew on a people-smuggling boat U.S.$30,000 to return 65 asylum-seekers to Indonesia.Bottrell said a further 57 people-smuggling activities were disrupted during this period, preventing 1,900 asylum-seekers from trying to head to Australia, but did not provide further details about where they were from.Under the previous Labor government, at least 1,200 people died trying to reach Australia by boat between 2008 and 2013 .
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