Turnbull’s refugee bashing condemned

Turnbull’s call for the re-introduction of temporary protection visas shows how much the Liberal opposition is in thrawl to the failed policies of the Howard era, according to refugee groups.

“We don’t want to see any repeat of the dark days of the Howard government’s abuse of refugees. Temporary protection visas were never a deterrent to asylum seekers. They punished the people Australia has a responsibility to protect and led directly to the tragedy of the SIEV X, as the families of refugees desperately tried to be re-united.” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“There is no surge of asylum seekers, threatening Australia,” said Ian Rintoul. “The deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan is driving people to seek protection. The Rudd government should be welcoming the latest boats of asylum seekers fleeing persecution, not imprisoning them on Christmas Island.

“It is time for Chris Evans to live up to the promise of his recent announcements. It is clear now that Evans’s policy of detention being a last resort cannot be fulfilled on Christmas Island. There are not the resources or the jobs to allow people to live in the community while their claims are being processed. They should be brought to the mainland. We are watching closely as the 90 day deadline for refugee determination approaches.

“The Rudd government is continuing the Howard’s government shameful use of Indonesia to warehouse asylum seekers effectively denying them their rights under the Refugee Convention. Repeating the mistakes of the Howard government is a recipe for disaster. Refugee policy has nothing to do with border protection. As long as people need to flee persecution and war they will use people smugglers,” said Ian Rintoul.

“Intercepting asylum seekers and using Christmas Island as the new Nauru shames Labor’s commitment to a humanitarian refugee policy.”

Refugee Action Collective media release

For more information contact Refugee Action Coalition: Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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