After the Commonwealth Games (which were held in Australia’s Gold Coast) ended on April 15th over 200 African athletes and officials went missing. Some of them didn’t even attend the games they were supposed to take part in.
Amongst the vanished African are a Rwandan weightlifting coach, who never returned from a break to go to the bathroom while the athlete he was training was still competing in the games. Also, six Ugandan athletes and a third of the Cameroonian participants went missing.
Of course, the disappearance of these athletes and other officials didn’t go unnoticed and a warning was sent out. Australia’s home affairs minister has made it publicly knows that everyone who overstayed their visas on May 15th, would face time in jail if they didn’t turn themselves in.
As a reaction to this thread, a big part of the missing Africans showed up again and immediately applied for refugee protection to make sure they didn’t have to leave Australia. The reason for seeking asylum in Australia varies from being targets of homophobic violence to facing religious persecution in their home countries.
The Australian authorities are still looking for about fifty other African athletes and officials who have overstayed their visas and haven’t turned themselves in yet.