Any talk of DIMIA "culture change" is hypocritical

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130
Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

Any talk of DIMIA "culture change" is hypocritical

Media Release
Tuesday November 24 2005 7:45am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"Any talk of 'culture change' within Australia's Department of Immigration following the Vivian Solon and Cornelia Rau debacles and the more than 200 listed cases of unlawful deportation and imprisonment in immigration detention amounts to hypocricy with the ABC's revelations of a deportation of yet another "Aussie'," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.

"The story of the deportation of the man, Mr Robert Jovicic, who now appears in a seriously mental crisis in Serbia, is yet another one in the continuing dramas of human misery, administrative bungling and fanatic implementation of the Migration Act."

"Like a nightmarish horror movie from a sci-fi series, the dramas in DIMIA do not stop. This month we saw that the Department manipulates its own regulations once again, first by spreading misinformation in the media - alleging that a family who arrived from Indonesia by boat, did not seek asylum under the UN Convention provisions - then by hiding the same family at massive tax-payer expense under 24-hour guard in the Parap Village Apartments in Darwin.

All this happened while we have hundreds of beds free in on-shore detention facilities - but as if it is not enough, DIMIA then tops its Orwellian and draconian methodology off by carting this family back outside the Migration Zone, placing them out of the reach of independent legal advisors in the Christmas Island Detention Centre. This act alone breaches its own Migration Act regulations."

"DIMIA-initiated plans for deportations should immediately start to fall under the jurisdiction of Australian courts, and immigration detention intent should also be first approved and then scrutinised by the court system", the group's co-ordinator Jack H Smit said.

"The DIMIA was "relieved" of the services of the former Secretary Bill Farmer after the Cornelia Rau revelations, but its current Secretary, Andrew Metcalfe, who suggested in a Senate Inquiry in 2000 that coming to Australia, unannounced, with the intent to seek asylum, 'may well constitute a criminal act', is evidence that there will be no dramatic changes brought to bear in the rotten mentality in DIMIA.

"With such a Secretary, there may be hundreds of new t-shirts, new mugs and Departmental stationery and pens, and staff training at massive tax-payer expense, but there will be no fundamental change."

For more information:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

ONLINE RESOURCES:

Deported Melbourne man pleads to return

ABC ONLINE NEWS
Wednesday, November 23, 2005. 10:44pm (AEDT)

A Melbourne man deported to Serbia after living in Australia for 36 years is pleading with the Australian Government to let him return home.

Thirty-six-year-old Robert Jovicic had his permanent residency revoked last year on character grounds, after a string of offences linked to his drug addiction.

He is not recognised by his new country, does not speak the language and is destitute.

He has told the ABC TV's Lateline program that his situation is desperate.

"I've lost everything. I've lost my princess, my wife, my home, my health. Look, my hair is falling out," he said.

"If I don't lay out front of the embassy and get back home, I will die here on medical grounds alone.

"I have been sent to this country, which I have never been before, I had nowhere else to go. The money had run out. I have got no documents."

The Department of Immigration says because of Mr Jovicic's substantial criminal record, the former minister used his discretion to cancel his visa under a particular section of the Immigration Act.

The department says Mr Jovocic assisted in his own deportation and could still apply for citizenship in Serbia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200511/s1515471.htm

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