Tuesday September 28 2004 14:00pm WST
For Immediate Release
"The Prime Minister John Howard and Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone should immediately come clean over their links with members of The Taliban: the Pashtoon DIMIA interpreters - and therefore life-and-death assessors - of the Afghani asylum seekers from the Hazara group", Project SafeCom spokesman Jack Smit said today.
"Last weekend's Australian Financial Review (Julie Macken, Lost in Translation, p24) revealed that the Department of Immigration has paid and may still be paying consultancy fees for nationality assessment work in most Australian detention centres, Nauru and Manus Island, to members of the Afghani Pashtoon group, themselves arch-enemies of the Hazara group - and in addition, that these consultants are linked to The Taliban and to Osama Bin Laden."
"AFR also reported that the evidence shows how those Taliban members have an unusually high rate of determinations, telling DIMIA that members of the Hazara group are Pakistani rather than Afghani."
"In Afghanistan, Pashtoon members linked with the Taliban, shoot Hazara returnees from Australia for fun, in Australia they tell DIMIA that they're Pakistani."
"The government's 'holier-than-thou attitude' has clearly become unstuck in the case of the Queensland candidate for Fairfax, Dr Ivan Molloy, who is blamed as being linked to terrorist groups in the Philippines."
"DIMIA, who are well-known for trying to NOT approve asylum seeker applications, have now clearly shown that refugee assessment should be removed from their 'border protection platform' and that this should go to bodies such as the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commissioner."
"If this happens, DIMIA can look after 'excluding people' such as illegal entrants who fly in and overstay their visas, while HREOC can look after 'including people' who arrive to seek asylum, and Australia's scandalous dealings with refugees can once again start to become decent."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]