Sunday November 15, 2009 9:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"The ghastly fact that Indonesian authorities have opened fire on Afghan asylum seekers who were on their way to seek protection in Australia - their unabrogated right under international law - points squarely at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his equally ghastly attempt to 'farm out' to Indonesia Australia's obligations to let asylum seekers arrive in the safety and protection of Australian maritime zones - the ONLY place for them to find legal protection as asylum seekers," WA human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"The breaking news (see below) that Indonesia has opened fire on asylum seekers should wake up Kevin Rudd. His hero, WWII's German Priest (and people smuggler) Dietrich Bonhoeffer, turns in his grave today, and he is the symbol of Kevin Rudd's vile hypocrisy on this Sunday morning," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"The farming out of Australia's obligations under the UN Refugee Convention to Indonesia is a disgrace. Today we're seeing the result of this. Indonesia is incapable of seeing them as asylum seekers, and they will treat them as invaders, they will deal with them as illegals, and they will treat them as criminals and as a nasty group causing trouble to their equilibrium of law and order. Indonesia is incapable of this because it has no obligations under, and no knowledge of, the UN Convention."
"Kevin Rudd is responsible for this shooting incident. Kevin Rudd is responsible for those who have been stuck in Indonesia for up to eight years, and he is responsible for the misery of those who he fiercely, nastily, covertly and miserably, prevents from coming to Australia -the only UN Convention country in the nearest 5,000 miles, the only home for asylum seekers in the region," Mr Smit said.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]
Shooting asylum seekers 'regrettable'
AAP / news.com.au
November 15, 2009 09:25am
THE Federal Government has described as "regrettable" the shooting of two suspected asylum seekers whose boat was intercepted by the Indonesian coast guard.
The boat, carrying 61 Afghans, was heading for Australia on Thursday when it was intercepted off the eastern coast of Indonesia.
One of the asylum seekers was shot in the foot and another in the hand after ignoring warning shots from police after they tried to escape, Indonesian police said.
The injured men were receiving treatment, while the others were being questioned by police.
The Australian Government had yet to receive a detailed report of the incident, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said.
"We don't know what's happened, we don't know what kind of circumstances that's been involved," he told Channel 10 today.
"Obviously it's regrettable if anybody's been injured in any kind of situation like this."
The Government did not want to cast any aspersions about anybody's involvement, Mr Tanner said.