Thursday March 15, 2007 11:50am WST
For Immediate Release
"The announcement by Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews this morning, that the Sri Lankan asylum seekers will be "carted off, exported, people-smuggled" to Nauru is cruel, heartless, astoundingly expensive and inhumane, but it does not export this issue as an electoral liability for the Prime Minister at all," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"Once more John Howard - whose endorsement and signature is like a giant black ink blob all over this decision by his new Immigration Yes-Man Kevin Andrews - is getting it wrong. Like a stubborn old man, basking in his past glorious victories, Howard yet again deports defenceless people to Nauru, to keep this issue out of the news, and "just because he can", but the Prime Minister is wrong," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Australians, through David Hicks, have woken up on the issue of human rights and decency of international conventions and John Howard's role in undermining these conventions."
The expulsion away from the scrutiny of Australian law and Australia's obligations to the UN Convention will not score votes for the Coalition government. Apart from the fact that this is another appalling disregard for the asylum seekers and their international right and some form of decency owed to them because of the situation they fled from - a rapidly deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka - this decision will assist those voters who are angry with the Prime Minister and his government over David Hicks, and they will link the Hicks issue to the heartless treatment of the Sri Lankans."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]