February 26, 2002
For Immediate Release
Project SafeCom Inc. has with great concern taken
note of numerous first-hand accounts by detainees in several detention
facilities and by individuals working directly with these detainees,
as posted on various locations on the Internet.
Project SafeCom Inc. notes that these stories
include reports of beatings, being locked up in padded isolation
cells for as much as 45 days at a time, blackmail, coercion,
intimidation of adults as well as minors, all blatant human
rights trespasses by staff of Australasian Correctional
Management and Australian Protective Services, who are contracted by
the Department of Immigration, and this being the case, carrying out
orders by the Minister of Immigration, the Hon Phillip Ruddock.
Project SafeCom Inc. further takes note of
drawings made by children which seem to indicate great fear and
anxiety; it takes note of children's drawings of guards with batons,
detainees laying on the grounds of detention centres with guards
standing over them with batons, with blood on the ground.
Its committee is greatly distressed about these drawings, which seem
admissible evidence in courts of law of human rights and other abuses
committed in these centres.
The Committee further notes that children
witnessing these events seem to be events, which may well traumatise
these children for life. It notes in these severe breaches of the
Rights of the Child. It also concludes that Australia itself seems
to "refoul" asylum seekers coming to its shores - thus contravening
the UN Refugee Conventions.
Project SafeCom Inc., in its working committee
Meeting, declares that it fully supports the Call for a Royal
Commission into the Australian Government's Treatment of Asylum
Seekers, as posted online at this
address: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ausrefug/petition.html and
which on February 26 2002 at 10:00 TST carried support by
means of 9085 Signatures.
Project SafeCom Inc. has taken note of the remarks
of Chris Ayres, Solicitor, (reportedly Solicitor of the High Court
of Australia, and Supreme Courts of NSW and Qld) and signatory #617
to the Call for this Royal Commission:
"A Royal Commission should be conducted with the
utmost urgency in order to ascertain whether or not Australia
is in breach of international law in its treatment of refugees.
If it is in breach, and if the treatment of certain refugees
constitutes a crime against humanity then those liable should
be tried under international law. This would go some way to
restoring Australia's reputation within the international
Project SafeCom Inc. strongly urges the more
than 600 Members of the Legal Fraternity who sponsored an
advertisement in The Weekend Australian of February 2-3,
2002 (page 7) - and others - to immediately start preparing for
proceedings and to investigate whether or not a case for such
international law prosecutions against the Australian Government