Wednesday June 20, 2007 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"UN World Refugee Day in Australia today is still marred by Howard's Heart of Darkness, with Chinese Falun Gong practitioners being held incommunicado in Sydney's Villawood, 83 Sri Lankans having been deported to live outside the reach of Australia's legal obligations for refugee assessment on the birdpoo island of Nauru, while a handful of Burmese are being kept at bay, presumably until they break and go to another country", WA Rights organisation Project SafeCom said this morning.
"While tens of thousands of citizens around the country will have some level of involvement with the United Nations World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20, the scars of John Howard's radical interference with the international rights for refugees and asylum seekers since the Tampa drama in August 2001 still plays itself out in the lives of countless people who sought Australia's protection under the UN Convention, only to get seriously hurt by our nation's fanatical and covert hatred for this Convention," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Every month and every week there's another story, another case, where people are wrongfully treated, or where they are still experiencing the devastation of having been assessed wrongfully, or where they are imprisoned in their lives by having an awful set of visa conditions."
"The damage to countless lives of Australian politicians playing games of political football with asylum seekers will continue as long as John Howard is in power, and far, far beyond it, if Australia does not commits itself to a radical revision of the entire Migration Act, so justice in our system is restored," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]