illegal deportation

DIBP out of control

Dear Prime Minister,

Act to restrain the Immigration Minister and his out-of-control department. The dangers of DIBP are again apparent, this time with the illegal detention of two people on Christmas Island, despite the fact that they are both Australian Citizens. DIBP imprisoned them under section 501 of the Immigration Act which gives the Minister the power to detain or deport non-citizens who fail the 'character test'. It is outrageous that such unrestricted power can be given to one person. As Fatima Measham writes:

It should disturb us that the immigration ministry has become the locus for responses to crime and national security, via so-called ‘character tests’ or ministerial determinations over whether someone has ‘integrated’. It is not its primary remit to enforce law and order; these are a matter for police and courts.
The immense power vested in the department also magnifies error and mischief. The pattern of recent years has in fact been about eroding impediments and remedies.
A draconian mindset can be contagious, and when it emanates from the top, it can permeate thoroughly. If citizenship is no insulation from vagaries of the state, then no one is safe.
— Fatima Measham,

End offshore detention. #293

Dear Prime Minister,

We have observed and protested against the year-long campaign to make conditions even worse for detainees on Manus Island. Now documents from Transfield and Broadsprectum show that it has been the active intent of the camp managers and security staff to make Manus detention centre as inhospitable as possible.

There are plans for forced removals and warnings of 'catastrophic consequences' for having to use PNG police. Broadspectrum documents note that pushing the detainees out with no plan for their resettlement would 'be distressing' for them. But they go on to say 'if the detainees fail to comply (ie leave) the police will remove them either to their new compound [peaceful], to the MAA [resist] or jail [violent].'

Do not let this happen. The only possible outcome will be damage, violence, trauma and death. Close the camps and bring them here.

Consider their options

Dear Prime Minister,

The detainees on Manus Island have been told that the 'refugee processing centre' will be closed, starting in two weeks time. As Behrouz Boochani said yesterday, PNG does not want the refugees and the refugees cannot make a life there.

What can 'consider your options' be except a terrible cruel taunt? They have no money. They have no where to go. Their health has been broken. They are our responsibility.

Illegal deportation

Dear Prime Minister,

Why does Australia continue to argue that the refugees on Manus Island are subject only to PNG decision-making? The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs clearly stated that it is Australia who is liable for the safety of asylum seekers in PNG and Nauru. As is concluded in an article critical of Australia's attempts to deport the injured Azzam el Cheikh:

Australia cannot evade its responsibilities by tricky manipulation of international borders or contractual terms. Australia is calling the shots and Australia must adhere to the most fundamental moral obligation to treat sick people with dignity. Instead, however, it has ordered the deportation of a seriously ill man with no concern for his health or Australia’s legal obligations toward him. In doing so, it is complicit in cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and likely breaching obligations under international law to ensure deportations do not give rise to a risk of persecution or torture.