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Missing Commonwealth Games athletes now seeking protection visas

Article image for Missing Commonwealth Games athletes now seeking protection visas

Image: The Facebook of missing athlete Fotsala Simplice

At least 19 African athletes and team staff who went missing from the Commonwealth Games are seeking asylum in Australia.

After fleeing the Games village, they’ve now been given bridging visas.

CEO of Sydney’s Northern Beaches Refugee Sanctuary David Addington says they were contacted by some of the athletes from Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Rwanda.

“A number of the athletes were looking at their visa options and they gave us a call to see if we could give them assistance in the process of applying for a protection visa,” David tells Chris Smith.

“In 2006 we assisted a number of athletes who left the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and they then sought protection visas.”

David says the athletes will have to prove their human rights are “grossly abused” to get protection.

“If they can prove that their life is endangered, and there’s a process they’d have to go through with that, then they’d be granted a protection visa.”

One of the missing Cameroon athletes, boxer Fotsala Simplice, has been posting images of himself in Melbourne’s CBD to his Facebook page.

Chris Smith isn’t buying any of it.

“It sounds awfully planned to me, doesn’t it to you?”

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