Australian immigration minister does not comment on reports Muslim minority being paid to return to country where they face persecution

The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has refused to say if Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority.

He told ABC’s 7.30 program Australia provided settlement packages for refugees in Australian-run detention centres to return to their country of origin, and some regions of Myanmar would be safe to return to, but he would not comment on “individual cases”.

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