Eight Burmese men held in an Australian detention camp for immigrants have asked for political asylum.
Australian officials say the men were found earlier this month on an uninhabited reef in the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and Australia. They had apparently been dumped there by smugglers.
The Burmese migrants have faxed a request to a noted Australian immigration lawyer asking he represent them as they seek refugee status. They say they face human rights abuses if they are returned to Burma.
Ashdown Reef, where the migrants were found, is an Australian national park. Under Australian law, migrants who land on Australia's islands do not have access to the country's justice system but are sent to Australian-funded refugee camps in countries nearby.
Information for this report is provided by AP.