What People Smuggling Looks Like
By Aubrey BelfordOctober 16, 2012
Photojournalist Barat Ali Batoor, 29, is a Hazara asylum seeker who fled Afghanistan — with his camera.
He journeyed on a route similar to that taken by thousands of Hazara asylum seekers. From Afghanistan, he travelled through Pakistan and then flew to Thailand, from where he traveled by land, sea and air through Malaysia and Indonesia. From outside Jakarta he boarded a boat to Australia, but when it started to sink, he jumped off in the jungles of western Java. After two days of wandering with other asylum seekers, he was picked up, detained, and then escaped.
This exclusive photo essay shows Batoor’s trip, up to the point where his camera got soaked when the boat sank. His images are an incredible record of life and the presence of death on the road to a new life in Australia.
See more of Batoor’s story on SBS Dateline on Australian television on Oct. 16. A preview is here.