Refugees from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar said they were heading for New Zealand when they ended up shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this week and have now appealed to New Zealand for assistance.
In a letter seen by Radio New Zealand, the refugees make a collective plea to the Government for asylum, saying it was unsafe for them to return home.
Radio New Zealand has made attempts to verify the letter, which bears the signatures of 65 people.
Nazmul Hassan, who identifies himself as one of the 65 in a Kupang detention centre, said they just wanted a peaceful life.
“We leave our country because of some problems and political violence and [too many[problems].”
“We are really in trouble now, and under pressure now.”
Hassan said they were all confined to one room at the centre in West Timor.
He said the group was mentally and physically exhausted.
New Zealand Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said he had not received any requests for help.