News National AIDS delegates seek asylum

AIDS delegates seek asylum

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At least 25 delegates who attended the international AIDS conference in Melbourne will attempt to seek asylum in Australia after failing to board their flights home.

According to a Fairfax report, the delegates, who are mostly from African countries including Uganda and Tanzania, decided to stay after the conference finished on July 25, and are now homeless.

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Homelessness service HomeGround confirmed that they were assisting 14 delegates to find and pay for accommodation.

One of the delegates said that he had been imprisoned multiple times because he was a member of a political opposition party, while another said he faces violent persecution because of his ethnicity.

This is not the first time that delegates have failed to return home after major events in Australia.

Similar bids for asylum were made after the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and 2008 World Youth Day festivities in Sydney.

Around 13,000 delegates attended the AIDS conference in Melbourne last month, representing over 200 countries.