Tuesday June 5, 2012 7:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"Four Corners has now well and truly established its own "me too" Canberra-derived national discourse of Evil Smugglers' stories, a media freak show that started with commercial television serials, cheapskate sensationalist so-called "investigations" with overblown claims, a must-see freak show that has now also become established at the ABC - all of them failing to address how Canberra's manipulative avoidance of people in transit in Indonesia is building, sponsoring and sustaining people smuggling as an industry," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"Four Corners has failed to tell its viewers that Australia has more than 30 Immigration Compliance officers at airports known to be boarding hubs for asylum seekers who want to have refugee claims assessed once they have flown on established aviation routes to Australia," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Four Corners has also failed to present the most obvious case for the success of smuggling operatives, which is the blindfold applied by Canberra's political elites about funding UNHCR in Jakarta, assisting people with UNHCR Refugee assessments in Indonesia and helping them to find protection and resettlement, first in Australia, then in other countries."
"Foreign Aid and bilateral assistance should have grown a nine storey building as a gift from Australia to UNHCR in Indonesia, because people have come to Indonesia ever since 1998 - yet UNHCR is bleeding to death, cannot cope with the workload and has just two or three staff in Jakarta."
"Four Corners has failed to give its viewers an insight into the Real Freak Show, which has its headquarters in Canberra, where our political elites, starting with Malcolm Fraser and his immigration ministers Michael McKellar and Ian Macphee first engaged in a manipulative crafting of legislation criminalising crew and skippers of asylum seeker boats - an initiative re-crafted in a container of "a national invasion emergency" by John Howard and Philip Ruddock using a High Stakes Game of political "we are better than Labor" rhetoric in 1999."
"There's a simple way to stop the business model of people smuggling - that is to send in Qantas. There's a simple way to become a refugee protection leader in the ASEAN region - that is, to supply Foreign Aid to Indonesia by means of a nine storey building and UNHCR staff in Jakarta, and tell the other ASEAN countries to do likewise. Regrettably the Freak Show Players in Canberra have lobotomised their own hearts, brains and consciences so they don't even remember such simple and decent solutions."
"The Four Corners program has failed the Australian public in yesterday's program, and instead it has joined Canberra's Freak Show Troupe with free cameras and microphones."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]