Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SBS Documentary - The Edmund Rice Centre's "A well-grounded fear"

I have just posted the following comment on the SBS website chatroom on this excellent doco:

"Thank you for your documentary. I was a witness to much of the 'process' associated with the Nauru detainees as a member of the DIMIA coordinating committee for the Nauru detention facilities. I have been raising concerns about the violations perpetrated by the Howard Govt since early 2005 through my blog at
I have written three times to Sen Evans in his capacity as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, seeking a judicial inquiry into the refugee policies of the Howard Govt. On the 3rd occasion I received the standard perfunctory reply from DIMC stating everything is now hunky dory on the human rights front and that an inquiry would be inappropriate. I suggested terms of reference for the inquiry. One of my suggested areas of investigation was the "wrongful repatriation of asylum seekers (a particular concern of the UN Committee against Torture)". My ToR were, of course, much broader in scope because I hold strong views that the mandatory detention policy should be investigated and that those responsible for human rights violations held accountable, mainly to ensure it can never happen again."

It is time to pursue these issues more forthrightly. Politicians and public servants must understand the inviolable nature of human rights and that their systematic violation diminishes us all.

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