Friday, February 23, 2007

Human rights in Australia - more asylum seekers to be caught up in Pacific Solution mincer

Media is reporting that "Prime Minister John Howard says a group of 85 asylum seekers intercepted near Christmas Island, off Western Australia, will not be allowed on the mainland.

The men were picked up by the navy supply ship HMAS Success and are believed to be from Sri Lanka.

Mr Howard has told Southern Cross Radio that the Federal Government is considering sending the men to Nauru.

"Clearly sending them to Nauru is an option, but we are assessing all of the options," he said.

"We need some more information, but they will not be allowed onto the Australian mainland - that is certain."

But the coordinator of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, David Mann, says the men will be denied access to independent legal advice if they are sent to Nauru or Christmas Island.

"The first real option is to ensure that these people are brought to a situation of safety and security in Australia where they're able to explain there predicament," he said.

"If they are seeking protection, as appears to be the case, that they be able to put their case for asylum in Australia and to have that case properly heard."

The spin merchants on the govt side are out there today demonizing these people and preparing the ground for another ugly iteration of the PS. The only solution to this abuse carried out in our name is 'regime change' and heavy lobbying of Labor to humanize asylum seeker policy.

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