Thursday January 19 2006 7:45am WST
For Immediate Release
"Lawyers for a Turkish man from Kurdistan yesterday successfully obtained an injunction against the forcible deportation plans for the man by the Minister for Immigration, on the grounds that deportation would surely further deteriorate his mental health - but shocking revelations in the Adelaide court showed that the Department of Immigration's "corruption clean-up" is a farce, and that nothing has changed whatsoever in DIMIA," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
In the court it was revealed that the Department of Immigration's Deportation section had booked ONE HUNDRED and FORTY seats on the flight to deport just one single person to minimise the risk of disturbance to other flight passengers," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"This is not just an unbelievable way of squandering what probably amounts to more than half a million dollars of taxpayers' money, but also such a show of arrogant force on the part of the Compliance Branch of DIMIA - just to show "who's the Boss" - that there is only one conclusion possible: the DIMIA has learnt nothing, absolutely nothing from the Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez scandals, and from the hundreds of other cases where its absolute lack of professionality has been exposed throughout 2005."
"Today is not the first time that we have argued that there is hardly ever a need for a forced deportation from Australia," Mr Smit said, referring to Project SafeCom's submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act in 2005.
"Asylum seekers come here precisely because of the UN Convention and its determinations, and they know that Convention. If the Department of Immigration would speedily assess and openly share the results of "a just determination" under these UN terms with an applicant on an "information-sharing" basis, with a great deal of openness and collaboration, it would be able to "evidently show" the results and share that with the applicant at all times, also keeping them informed with openness and regularity, without racism or hostility, and with dignity and honesty."
"Applicants who have been granted their full rights and dignity will accept the decisions, as these are based on the open notion of United Nations refugee justice. If unsuccessful, they can be shown and explained their options for appeal and beyond. On this road of treatment of refugee applications there is hardly a need for forced deportations," Mr Smit said.
"Of course, within DIMIA, and within the Australian system we can find the exact reverse of this treatment, heightening the fear and distrust; and in the case of this man, he has remained with his grave fears, as reported by advocates this week, and "is terrified of being returned to Turkey because he was working in an oppositional printing office, printing anti-government information". This seems to indicate that several aspects of the assessment procedure has been refused to be honoured: every convention country that cannot approve people in fear of returning 'home' under the Convention's terms, activates a 'secondary determination' - and of course Australia doesn't do this."
"The fact that extreme bullying, underlying a forced deportation, is a resort too often the only option available, shows how bankrupt the DIMIA system really is. Booking one hundred and forty aircraft seats to just deport one man is a sickening sign of a sickened refugee assessment system."
For more information and contacts:
Project SafeCom's submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act:
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]