Tuesday February 8 2005 11:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"WA Refugee lobby group Project SafeCom today called the "closed doors" Rau Inquiry as announced by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone an absolute disgrace in the context of Ms Rau's family's demand that such an inquiry should be open to the Australian public and all stakeholders, including refugee advocates."
"Project SafeCom first calls on the Australian Democrats to repeat their call for an open inquiry that includes calling for detainees in the Baxter detention centre to give evidence."
"Secondly, Project SafeCom calls on the Australian Greens to repeat their demands for a judicial inquiry - Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has already called for a Royal Commission level inquiry - but that the Greens should do whatever they can to maintain their support of other parties in this call, also support from the ALP."
"Thirdly, Project SafeCom calls upon ALP's opposition leader Kim Beazley and immigration spokesman Laurie Ferguson to repeat with their fierceness the demand for a judicial inquiry."
"Project SafeCom however went further in its call for an investigation. Ever since the Tampa Election of 2001, journalists and reporters have been barred from access and therefore adequate reporting of what happens in the secrecy of the government's detention centres, and therefore Project SafeCom calls upon Australian Media Associations and Journalists' professional bodies to finally stand up and bring an end to the disgrace of a government attempting to maintain the darkness around events and incidents in their disgraceful gulags."
"It's time that all stakeholders, journalists, reporters, civil libertarians, politicians in State governments as well as from Federal government - including backbenchers in the Liberal parties, churches and Public Interest Advocates stand up in unison and bring the Howard government to its knees, and bring its human rights abuses in detention centres into the full spotlight. This is also the day the many Liberal backbenchers who feel ashamed about the Howard government's treatment of immigration detainees, should cross the floor in Paliament."
"All stakeholders, including the government, serve the 'public's right to know', but we've had for too long a period where the government has been able to hide what it's really doing to asylum seekers and other immigration detainees, and it's time this deplorable situation is brought to a swift end."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]