Monday September 19 2005 16:45am WST
For Immediate Release
"Lawyers working on submissions of Temporary Protection Visa holders of refugees from Afghanistan in the last year have confirmed to Project SafeCom that of all the Afghan TPV renewal applications - about 800 in total in Western Australia - the Department of Immigration's primary decision makers decisions were set aside by the Refugee Review Tribunal for 95% of the cases in the last year," said the WA Rights group today.
"That means that the Department got it wrong 95% of the time, even right up till this year, when they told already approved refugees, that after three to four years they are now "suddenly" not refugees at all, and on review by the RRT these DIMIA primary assessors have been assessed to be wrong."
"These figures correlate with submissions made by Project SafeCom to the Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act that's currently underway, in which Project SafeCom argued that three years ago the DIMIA was wrong on average 75% of the time, and that in relation to the most recent boat arrivals of Vietnamese refugees they were wrong nearly 100% of the time, as found on appeal."
"The revelations come at a day that the Minister for Immigration Senator Amanda Vanstone has introduced a "Golden Cage" concept to the Baxter detention centre - announcing better food, basketball courts and other Western sports facilities, and Project SafeCom spokesman Jack Smit commented on these changes, that the Minister is acting like a child who goes out and buys a miniature diver to keep the goldfish in the aquarium company, or like someone who puts a silver bowl in the canary cage so the bird may sing louder."
The Minister displays a disgusting level of arrogance in wanting to create a user-friendly, but life-long mandatory detention method, but all it is, is a measure of more spin and smoke and mirrors. Mandatory detention, and we know it now after the last five years with greater than ever confidence, is a broke and corrupt concept of control and government-sponsored torture. No silver lining, miniature divers, golden treadmills for caged rats will be able to undo the horrors and the desolation of the Howard government policies and treatment of refugees."
"Baxter should close, it, and the policies that created it, should be dismantled and never again should Australia engage in these horrendous practices that were introduced because Mr Howard wanted to win an election."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]