Sunday, March 26, 2006

Edmund Rice condemnation of detention of vulnerable

The Edmund Rice Centre issued a call yesterday for immigration law reform to prevent "a return to the sorts of disgraceful situations highlighted in the cases of Mr T, Vivian Alvarez Solon, Cornelia Rau".

The Director of the Edmund Rice Centre, Phil Glendenning, has welcomed the positive response by the Immigration Minister to the Ombudsman's report on Mr T, an Australian citizen unlawfully detained by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA), but warns that legislative reform is still needed.

"We have seen that this Government has abandoned due process when it suits its political interests. There remains no guarantee that, should we face another 'Tampa', the Government won't once again turn a blind eye to these sorts of abuses", Mr Glendenning said."

Legislative reform and a Royal Commission into the system of mandatory detention is needed urgently. Abuses will continue until there is a wholesale review of the culture of detention. Such a review must be underpinned by a full judicial enquiry. One area of focus should be an expose of the ongoing management of detention camps as a profit making exercise. Another should be 'performance incentives' related to the processing of asylum seekers. Another should be a thorough audit based investigation of the money trails to recipient governments associated with the 'Pacific solution'.

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