Australian government, stop imprisoning refugees, Papua New Guinea court decides


This video says about itself:

Guantánamo of the Pacific”: Australian Asylum Seekers Wage Hunger Strike at Offshore Detention Site

22 January 2015

A massive hunger strike is underway at what some are calling “the Guantánamo Bay of the Pacific.” The Manus Island detention center is paid for by the Australian government and run by an Australian contractor, Transfield Services, but located offshore on Papua New Guinea’s soil. The inmates are not accused of any crimes — they are asylum seekers from war-ravaged countries who are waiting indefinitely for their refugee status determinations.

They are asking the United Nations to intervene against the Australian federal government’s plan to resettle them in Papua New Guinea, where they say they could face persecution. Some have barricaded themselves behind the detention center’s high wire fences; others have resorted to increasingly drastic measures such as drinking washing detergent, swallowing razor blades, and even sewing their mouths shut to protest their confinement. We speak with Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Alex Kelly, a social justice filmmaker who organized a New York City vigil in solidarity with the Manus Island detainees.

From the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia:

Papua New Guinea court finds Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal

April 26, 2016 – 11:02PM

Nicole Hasham, Michael Gordon

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says about 900 men being held at the Manus Island detention centre will not be brought to Australia after Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled their detention was illegal.

The decision strikes one of the central pillars of the Turnbull government’s border protection regime, just weeks out from an election campaign during which the government is expected to heavily spruik its asylum seeker record. …

The court ruled the detention breached the constitutional right of asylum seekers to personal liberty. It ordered the Australian and PNG governments to immediately cease the “unconstitutional and illegal detention of asylum seekers” at Manus Island, and stop the breach of their human rights. …

The vast majority of men in the detention centre have been found to be refugees. The court ruling said they were seeking asylum in Australia but were “forcefully brought into PNG” and locked in an Australian-funded centre “enclosed with razor wire“. …

Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs said the unanimous ruling by five judges was “further confirmation that Australia’s detention policies are increasingly out of step with international norms”.

Professor Triggs said the future of men on Manus Island remained “profoundly uncertain”, citing UNHCR concerns that the sustainable integration of refugees into the PNG community “will raise formidable challenges and protection concerns”.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said the reported court ruling showed Australia “has been illegally detaining refugees on Manus Island for years”.

“The [Turnbull] government has got to shut the Manus Island detention camp and bring these people here… so that they can have their claims assessed and be integrated into the community,” she said.

“These people have been through enough. It’s time they were given the safety and care that they deserve.”

Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns said the decision was consistent with international law which stated that indefinite detention was unlawful.

The ruling also meant asylum seekers could likely make successful claims for damages for false imprisonment, and strengthened claims that Australia had breached its duty of care to asylum seekers.

“If Australia ignores the decision then it is contradicting its oft-stated claim that Manus Island detention is a matter for PNG jurisdiction,” he said.

Human Rights Watch Australia director Elaine Pearson said the ruling was a “massive victory for asylum seekers and refugees” who had been detained for almost three years.

“PNG’s Supreme Court has recognised that detaining people who have committed no crime is wrong. For these men, their only ‘mistake’ was to try to seek sanctuary in Australia – that doesn’t deserve years in limbo locked up in a remote island prison,” Ms Pearson said in a statement.

“It’s time for the Manus detention centre to be closed once and for all.”

She said the detention centre had caused “severe mental health impacts. These refugees have suffered enough, it’s time for them to finally move on and rebuild their lives in safety and dignity”.

In March, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the Manus Island detention centre must eventually close, and was a “problem” that had done more damage to his nation’s reputation than any other factor.

PNG Prime Minister Says Manus Island Detention Centre Will Close: here.

In what amounts to an indictment of the Australian political establishment, the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the imprisonment of refugees in an Australian-controlled detention facility on PNG’s remote Manus Island was unconstitutional: here.

There is increasing evidence that Australia is torturing refugees, medical experts claim: here.

Australia acts to retain sway over former colony Papua New Guinea: here.

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15 thoughts on “Australian government, stop imprisoning refugees, Papua New Guinea court decides

  1. Saturday 30th
    posted by Morning Star in World

    AUSTRALIAN campaigners said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton had “blood on his hands” yesterday after a refugee held in the Nauru offshore camp burnt himself to death.

    The Iranian refugee, identified only by his first name Omid, set fire to himself on Wednesday in protest at Canberra’s harsh policy of imprisoning asylum-seekers in overseas camps on Pacific islands.

    He died in Brisbane hospital yesterday after being airlifted to Australia for treatment after almost 24 hours.

    The Refugee Action Coalition posted on Facebook: “Omid, your blood is on Dutton’s hands, both for the delays to your evacuation and for holding you hostage on Nauru till you broke.

    “We’ll ensure that your martyrdom isn’t in vain. Shame Australia.”

    The victim’s wife condemned the delay in providing medical treatment for Omid, saying it had taken two hours for a doctor to arrive and that her husband had not been given intravenous pain relief for his horrific burns.

    “Staff in Nauru hospital couldn’t help Omid in any way because they were unequipped,” she told the Guardian Australia.

    Mr Dutton tried to defend the delay in airlifting Omid to Brisbane.

    “This is not a plane sitting on the runway at Nauru,” he said. “It’s a contracted arrangement.”

    Protesters gathered in Sydney yesterday to demand that the 850 asylum-seekers detained on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island be brought to Australia.

    Earlier this week, Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled the Manus detention centre illegal, prompting the government to announce plans to close it.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-1a48-Australian-migration-chief-slammed-after-man-burns-himself-to-death#.VyUb33pnU4A

    Like

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