People smugglers want to keep sending asylum seekers to Australia but a man who has made two failed attempts says the trauma of being forced into an orange lifeboat and returned to Indonesia is too much.
Iranian Arash Sedigh and his wife Azi were aboard one of the asylum-seeker boats intercepted and stopped after reaching Australian waters and say Operation Sovereign Borders staff forcibly transferred them to one of the high-tech orange lifeboats used to send asylum seekers back to Indonesia.
Mr Sedigh told the ABC that after his second attempt to reach Australia by boat he became angry when officials refused to take the asylum seekers to a safe place, threatening to kill them if they didn’t provide a doctor to treat sick passengers and a pregnant woman.
He and other passengers say they were taken aboard the Customs ship Triton and spent almost a week in a dark room before they were forced onto an orange boat to be sent back to Indonesia.
“I asked them, ‘We will die in this orange boat, it’s not suitable for passing the ocean (sic),” Mr Sedigh told ABC’s 7.30.
“They told me, ‘That’s not our problem, that’s yours. If you die in the Indonesian water, (it) makes Indonesian government in trouble and responsible. That’s not our problem.'”
He said he was punched and pushed into the ocean.
Mrs Sedigh said she also tried to resist.
“I was just screaming, but the only thing they did was to pull me forcefully towards that boat.”
Mr Sedigh says people smugglers offered him and his wife another trip but won’t give him his money back.
He says he wouldn’t try the trip again.
“No, I have two times bad experience about this trip. I don’t want to make my wife in trouble again. I want her for living together. I don’t want to make her die.”