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Austria suggests interning migrants on Greek islands

June 5, 2016

BERLIN (AP) — Austria’s foreign minister is proposing interning migrants on Greek islands.

In a newspaper interview, Sebastian Kurz says Europe could copy Australia’s model of intercepting migrant boats offshore — either sending them back or keeping them in island camps until their asylum claims have been processed.

Human rights groups have criticized the practice as inhumane and a breach of international law.

Kurz told Austrian newspaper Die Presse in an interview published Sunday that “of course the Australian model can’t be copied one-to-one, but the basic principle can be applied to Europe too.”

He said someone who is on an island such as Lesbos and stands little chance of getting asylum is more likely to return home than someone who already has an apartment in Vienna or Berlin.