Friday 6 June 2003 - 13:00 WST
For Immediate Release
"Now that Federal ALP Member for Brand in WA has finally declared his hand as a would-be leader for the ALP in the next election, WA based refugee group Project SafeCom has officially put him on conditional standing", said spokesperson Jack Smit.
"Beazley, supported by Labor Caucus, showed in the lead-up to the 2001 "Tampa Election" to be in collusion with Howard's atrocious manipulation of the Australian electorate, and in doing so helped legitimise the most shameful period in Australia's recent history - perhaps only surpassed by Australia's treatment of indigenous people.
"Beazley's actions are glaringly present in failing to prevent the implementation of institutionalised, taxpayer-funded, enduring, and entrenched mechanisms that promote psychological torture of human beings and causing permanent psychological scarring to men, women and children in detention centres.
"Beazley's 'lack of ticker' caused Australia to turn on a road of total lack of regard of the UN Refugee Convention, the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the Geneva Convention and the UN's Human Rights Charter.
"Beazley's lack of guts caused policies to be advanced that show blatant disregard for numerous reports by human rights organisations, UN committees and delegates, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists; and a government that has shown disdain for thousands of Australians who have since expressed serious concerns with what takes place in Australia.
"Beazley's deafening silence before the 2001 Election is reason for hundreds of nations around the world to be ashamed of Australia, as evidenced from the international media, and from reports by Australians who have since spoken to people in other countries.
"Beazley's inaction in 2001 caused hundreds of Australians to ignore their careers to become refugee advocates around the clock, in an attempt to inform the public about what happened, and in an effort to curtail the systematic government manipulation and misinformation on the part of the Howard government.
"Kim Beazley is on notice. He does not have any better than a very, very low, conditional standing, and we're still waiting for him to actually say one tiny sentence or one single word about asylum seekers and refugees, which will establish his credibility in this area", Mr Smit concluded.
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]
Melbourne Refugee Advocate
Member, Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]