A possie in Aussie

January 13, 2010

ASIO complicit in the Australian Government’s asylum seeker deterrence policy

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people,refugee,Tamils — Nayano @ 10:20 am
Tags: , , ,

Four people from the Oceanic Viking have received an a, have therefore been refused protection as refugees by the Australian government because of adverse security assessments, and are now being held on Christmas Island.

Pamela Curr, campaign co-ordinator at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, sent this email about her experiences of ASIO security determinations and the politics of the refugee process:

“I sat through an ASIO interview with a man released from Nauru after four years incarceration. This was his second interview and the reasons for it were never disclosed. He was summonsed to the Immigration Department in Melbourne as were many post Nauru Iraqis on a supposedly immigration matter. There we were shuffled off to a side room where he was asked all over again about the torture and imprisonment he had endured in Iraq before fleeing to Australia.

“What astonished me was that ASIO and Immigration knew as early as 2002 that this man had been comprehensively tortured by Saddam Hussein’s men. They had corroborated evidence of the hanging upside down on huge fans for hours each day, of the hanging by arms turned backwards, which dislodges the shoulders causing exquisite pain. Yet they still held this man and many others on Nauru for years despite their own guidelines that tortured persons would not be detained longer than necessary.

“ASIO have been complicit in the Australian Government’s asylum seeker deterrence policy in the past so why would they not continue this co-operation when the Sri Lankan embassy has been so shrill in its claims that all Tamils coming to Australia are either Tamil Tiger terrorists or potential terrorists. Where, if not from the Sri Lankan embassy, are ASIO getting their information?

“Australia has funded the security cameras in Colombo airport to detect any potential Tamil asylum seekers from leaving while simultaneously funding the Sri Lankan Navy to prevent people escaping by boat. Indeed in December the Sri Lankan Navy took their responsibility to deter so seriously that they shot two asylum seekers, killing one as he struggled into a fishing boat.

“That ASIO has produced adverse security assessments against three men, one woman and her two children is not to be unexpected. Whether these assessments are valid or accurate is unlikely to be tested. ASIO assessments can destroy lives


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