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Asylum seekers in Asia

Search launched for asylum seeker who fled Hong Kong hospital, leaving newborn behind

The 30-year-old Indonesian woman was last seen in her ward on July 10, just two days after giving birth to her daughter, according to a source

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 10:55pm

An asylum seeker from Indonesia is being sought by Hong Kong authorities after she ran away from a public hospital last month, leaving her newborn daughter behind.

The 30-year-old woman fled from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei days after she delivered her baby on July 8, according to government sources.

“The mother was last seen wearing patients’ clothes [in dark blue checkers] in her ward on July 10,” one source said.

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A citywide hunt for the woman was launched after medical staff alerted police on July 12, saying the woman had left the hospital without notice, leaving behind her baby girl.

“The infant does not suffer from any illness and she is in good health,” the source said.

“She is cute and adorable. She was smiling while others were crying in the hospital’s paediatric ward.”

Police are still trying to establish why the Indonesian woman abandoned her newborn daughter.

As the mother is missing, the Social Welfare Department has custodial authority of the girl after a care and protection order was sought in court.

The infant, who is about 1½ months old, is now being taken care of in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

It is understood the Social Welfare Department will help to find the baby girl a child care home.

The case came to light on Tuesday night when police made a public appeal to locate the next-of-kin of the abandoned girl.

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According to police, the baby girl is about 50cm tall and four kilograms in weight.

Police are understood to have sought help from the Immigration Department and non-government organisations that assist asylum seekers in the city, to find the woman. Beat police officers have been asked to look out for her.

Officers are also investigating the background of the Indonesian woman in an effort to find out where she frequented in the past. It is understood she was being allowed to stay in the city after making a torture claim with the Immigration Department.

Police urged her relatives or anyone with information to contact any police station or officers at Yau Ma Tei police station on 3661 9512 or 3661 9515 or email to ymtdiv-mesu-office@police.gov.hk

Investigations by the Miscellaneous Enquiries sub-unit of Yau Ma Tei police station are underway.