Friday June 27, 2008 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"The good agreements reached by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Treaties, which have expressed that Australia has a responsibility for those people it chooses to expel to other countries, and that this responsibility extends to how they are being treated by the authorities, the police or the courts in those countries are very welcome indeed," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said today, "but they are only part of the picture of responsibilities that Australia has to those it expels."
(see AAP Report below)
"During the Howard years, and even in the last six months, under the Rudd government, Australia has deported hundreds of asylum seekers who failed their claims under Australia's often failing asylum seeker assessment processes, and the former government wrongly claimed to have no responsibility for those deported asylum seekers beyond the Australian airport environment," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"We warmly welcome the intentions expressed by the Parliamentary Committee, but both monitoring, and conversely, a refusal by Australian authorities to share personal information of deported persons, should be carefully weighted and implemented."
"Australia has been guilty of serious breaches of treaties and conventions in its treatment of asylum seekers, and many people who we deemed to not be refugees, have been deported back to the countries they fled from, their personal details and identifiers have been shared with authorities of those countries upon their arrival, and this has led to their imprisonment, torture, arrest, intimidation of their immediate relatives, and also to unlawful killings and murder of those deported persons."
"Project SafeCom calls on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Treaties to also consider Australia's Obligations under the United Nations Refugee Convention and its provisions of non-refoulement, and make firm and safe determinations and implement protocols for the deportation processes of asylum seekers if they are rejected under our asylum assessment processes."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]
Push to rethink global police info-share
The Age / AAP
June 26, 2008 - 1:13PM
Federal police should be barred from sharing information with other countries if it exposes Australian citizens to the death penalty, a parliamentary committee says.
Six of the so-called Bali Nine drug mules are on death row in Indonesia after Australian police helped tip off Indonesian authorities in 2005.
The joint standing committee on treaties wants a review of policy on international police cooperation and other information exchanges.
Committee chair Labor MP Kelvin Thompson said the recommendation was aimed at ensuring better protection of human rights.
"(The committee's) inquiry did raise issues in relation to police-to-police cooperation," Mr Thompson told parliament.
"The committee has recommended a review of police-to-police cooperation and intelligence-sharing arrangements.
"Information should not be exchanged with another country if doing so would expose an Australian citizen to the death penalty."
The committee also recommended Australia adopt closer scrutiny of people who are extradited from this country.
"The committee has raised a number of concerns in its report about the general operation of Australia's current treaty model for extradition," Mr Thompson said.
"Australia's responsibility for persons extradited should not end at the conclusion of the extradition process but should extend to monitoring the detention of extradited persons, the judicial proceedings they are subject to, their sentencing and their imprisonment.
"The committee considers that a formal system should be established by the government to monitor the status of extradited persons."
© 2008 AAP