Australia’s refugee policy draws flak from UNHRC, activists

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 August 2013, 20:26 GMT]
“Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognized refugees on security grounds amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, inflicting serious psychological harm on them,” the UNHRC said in a statement last week. The statement further said that Australia should release the refugees, of whom 42 are Tamils from Sri Lanka, who have been held for at least two and a half years, and offer them compensation and rehabilitation. Speaking to TamilNet on the UNHRC observations, Trevor Grant, veteran journalist and spokesperson for the Tamil Refugee Council, said the judgement vindicated the strong belief of many advocates and lawyers that indefinite detention was not only illegal but intolerable in a just society. However, the Australia’s Coalition still maintains a hardline approach against refugees.

"The Australian Government has been found guilty of almost 150 violations of a human rights treaty it has signed. It is an international embarrassment for Australia on the week it takes over the presidency of the UN Security Council," he said.

"How can this Government continue to lecture the rest of the world on upholding international law and human rights while it is now officially guilty of inflicting cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment upon innocent refugees? And what's worse, it has publicly ignored this damning indictment, saying only that it will respond in due course,” Mr. Grant Lamented.

“An Abbott government plans to shut down an independent review of Australian Security Intelligence Organisation security assessments that have condemned almost 50 refugees – including a mother and her three children – to indefinite detention,” The Age reported on Thursday, adding that “The Coalition has also cut off on any prospect of the refugees being released from immigration detention on special conditions, including wearing monitor bracelets.”

The mother referred to is Ms. Ranjini, an Eezham Tamil refugee, who has been held in detention for more than two and a half years. Her third child was born in the detention camps.

"The UN message to the Australian Government is unambiguous. If its' signature on a treaty means anything, it must immediately release these people. If it refuses to act, it is blackening the country's international reputation and making a mockery of its new Security Council position," Mr. Grant said.

The UNHRC statement had asserted that Australia’s treatment of refugees was contrary to accepted international norms.

“The combination of the arbitrary character of (their) detention, its protracted and/or indefinite duration, the refusal to provide information and procedural rights to (them) and the difficult conditions of detention are cumulatively inflicting serious psychological harm upon them,” the UN experts said.

 

Latest 15 Reports
20.07.18 22:09   Photo
New Delhi fails to update Jaffna on Palaali airport plans
19.07.18 23:22   Photo
Skulls with bullet-like holes excavated in Mannaar mass grave, women and children among victims
18.07.18 19:21   Photo
Uprooted Mu'l'lik-ku'lam Tamils adopt Ira'nai-theevu approach, enter their lands seized by SL Navy
17.07.18 21:29   Photo
Colombo steps up shadow war against NPC Chief Minister Wigneswaran
16.07.18 22:48   Photo
SL Forest Department seizes agricultural lands of Eezham Tamils in Paduvaan-karai
15.07.18 19:14   Photo
Families of enforced disappeared vehemently oppose OMP sittings in North
14.07.18 19:35  
SL High Court in Vavuniyaa tricked again into postponing hearings on TPP case
13.07.18 23:20   Photo
NPC CM declines participation in Colombo's unilateral task force for so-called Development
12.07.18 12:22   Photo
Genocidal Sri Lanka seizes ancient coastal hamlet of Tamil-speaking aborigines in Trincomalee
11.07.18 18:20  
Collaborationist sections of TNA lose significance, Wigneswaran holds key to unified Tamil polity
10.07.18 21:53  
SL Military Intelligence recommences recruitment of notorious ex-paramilitary operatives
09.07.18 22:30   Photo
Antiquities Ordinance used to justify Sinhalicisation of 48 locations in Mullaiththeevu
08.07.18 19:06   Photo
TNPF protests against Colombo's move to militarise Jaffna Fort
07.07.18 19:56   Photo
SL Police in Champoor blocks remembrance of Tamils massacred by SL military
06.07.18 23:17  
Jaffna University silent to Colombo's pressure, motives behind Fort excavation questioned
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36603