Friday March 10 2006 2:45am WST
For Immediate Release
WA rights group Project SafeCom has accused the Howard government and the Department of Immigration of attempting to engage in ethnic cleansing, after the refusal to grant a proper visa to returning deportee Mr Robert Jovicic by acting Immigration Minister Julie Bishop.
While the Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone went public with her declaration that Mr Jovicic could come back to Australia, the acting Minister Julie Bishop today suggested that the Serbian man apply for Serbian citizenship.
"It is an absolute disgrace, that Immigration officials and the acting Immigration Minister have attached the condition to his four-week visa that he apply for Serbian citizenship, and it smacks of attempts of introducing "ethnic cleansing" in Australia, and we are disgusted," spokesman Jack H Smit said this afternoon.
"This disgraceful treatment of the man shows first, that Australian Immigration still deals in a haphazard way with more complex cases, secondly, that it happily keeps making decisions that fly in the face of recent court cases, that determined that 'if you grow up in Australia, you are Australia's problem, whether you're a citizen or not', and thirdly, it shows that DIMIA has not learnt anything from its continuing operational bungling and fiasco since the Cornelia Rau saga."
"Acting in this role is clearly a job too difficult for Julie Bishop, and in her first public performance she brings shame and disgrace over herself and over Australia, showing unpalatable incompetence."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]