Monday May 9, 2011 10:30pm WST
For Immediate Release
"Reports that a boat with 32 passengers and one crew member on board has been intercepted north of Scott Reef in the Timor Sea, and that the passengers are being transferred to Christmas Island "pending removal to another country" marks the start of the chosen human rights crimes implemented as policy by the Gillard Labor government," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"If these human rights crimes had prosecutions and a prison sentence attached to it, the Prime Minister, her Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O'Connor would be facing the dock this morning, explaining their actions against the clear legal demands expressed in International Law and the UN Refugee Convention that asylum seekers presenting themselves for refugee claim processing at the border of a signatory country invoke an unambiguous obligation on the State of Australia to hear their claims, refrain from punishing them for their manner of arrival or discriminate against them for having arrived illegally," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"The Prime Minister has chosen to try to douse the yelling and screaming by Tony Abbott and his fanatically zealous colleague Scott Morrison every time a boat arrives, with a never before used and callously designed strategy where maritime asylum seekers are being thrown before the slime of reprisals and torture of Malaysia's degrading treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in their country."
"Julia Gillard will be described in the history books not as a Labor leader like Bob Hawke, who she so admires, but like Margaret Thatcher, whose feminine ruthlessness earned her the name of The Iron Maiden, or like the hardline former Prime Minister John Howard, who she has morphed into.
"Today, this weekend's, and next week's actions around the boat that has just arrived north of Scott Reef, marks the new low of craven politics and opportunistic userism for political purposes by the Australian State of the world's most vulnerable population group - asylum seekers. Today is a day where we ought to be ashamed of Australia as a nation, and ashamed of its attitude to boat arrivals."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]