The Australian People's Visa: helping Australians understand

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 041 70 90 130
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EMBARGOED TILL 12.01am Wednesday February 6, 2002 (Taipei Standard Time)

The Australian People's Visa: helping Australians understand

Media Release
Wednesday February 6, 2002
For Immediate Release

This Wednesday, February 6, 2002, Mr Jack H. Smit, the Coordinator of Project SafeCom Inc., will present a draft of The Australian People's Refugee Visa at a presentation at a Conference at Curtin University of Technology in Perth.

The conference, entitled Australia Indonesia Border Tensions: Continuing the Dialogue on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and People Smugglers is held at the University's Bentley Campus and convened by The Research Unit for the Study of Societies in Change (RUSSIC) and the Migration, Ethnicity, Refugees and Citizenship Research Unit (MERC). For details of the Program see:

Some excerpts from the presentation:

Since the introduction of compulsory jailing we need to conclude that Australian governments are not democratic but self-styled governments, and from this new ideology in Australian society it is but a short step to jailing those that bother us without due process, and taking further shortcuts: don't we all resent the lengthy court processes and traffic jams on the Highways of Justice?

So - and listen how ridiculous it sounds - in order to disempower people smugglers we jail asylum seekers. Next, the Minister of Immigration invents a series of justifications: queue jumpers, illegals, illegal immigrants, economic refugees; he also casts doubt on the process of the United Nations, calls those jailed asylum seekers who organise rightful social action troublemakers, steps up security to make detention centres look like fortresses; he bans access of the media, bans full and unfettered access of lawyers.

Compliance with the UN Conventions is a must for Australia. The 600 members of the legal fraternity who sponsored an advertisement in last Saturday's Australian urge it. There are now also confirmed stronger calls: there is a call for a Royal Commission, and even more: one of its signatories, Chris Ayres, a solicitor of the High Court of Australia, and Supreme Courts of NSW and Qld, states:

"A Royal Commission should be conducted with the utmost urgency in order to ascertain whether or not Australia is in breach of international law in its treatment of refugees. If it is in breach, and if the treatment of certain refugees constitutes a crime against humanity then those liable should be tried under international law. This would go some way to restoring Australia's reputation within the international community."

The full text of the presentation is available from Project SafeCom's Web Site as a PDF File:

The first edition of The Australian People's Refugee Visa is also available as a PDF File:

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