Sunday June 13 2004 19:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"Today, Australian television audiences have been graphically reminded of Australia's appalling refugee policies in the Live TV Protest by evicted contender 'Merlin', who instead of being available for his 'eviction interview', taped up his mouth and carried a large sign in the Channel Ten studio before a live audience with the text "Free The Refugees"."
"Mr "Merlin" broke the protocol of the show, he embarrassed producers and he confronted the audience and television viewers who were expecting their usual "light relief" of entertainment."
"Project SafeCom applauds the young man for his courage. More and more people around Australia 'stand up for refugees'. Last week, on D-Day for Children Out of Detention, Enough Rope host Andrew Denton spoke out at the Sydney event of ChilOut."
"Two weeks ago "Mr Golden Tonsils", 2UE Talkback Host John Laws spent three days negotiating possibilities for the former Manus Island man Aladdin Sisalem and discussing Australia's refugee policies. Mr Laws interviewed Immigration Minister Senator Vanstone, asking her to assist to bring Aladdin Sisalem's cat Honey into Australia, and he talked to Julian Burnside QC on his show about asylum seeker policies."
"Most Australians know that the Coalition's asylum policies are a disgrace, and Channel Ten has now its own taste of it."
"We encourage all media networks to give news coverage where it's due, and in-depth exposure to what needs to be exposed. No Western country has a policy so drenched in oppression, human rights abuses and contraventions on a daily basis of International law and International conventions."
"With World Refugee Day approaching, Australia has two choices: honour refugees and stop its torture, or bury the issues in "more important news". The latter choice will perpetuate the myth that the Australian government is "just doing fine", at great cost to Australia."
"Project SafeCom will link arms with Amnesty International and Oxfam Community Aid Abroad for events and publicity during this weekend - details on http://www.safecom.org/wrd2004.htm."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]