Saturday July 23, 2011 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"Not a single Australian who insists UNHCR's signature should be on the Malaysian swap deal should be lulled to sleep by political spin, suggesting that Immigration Minister Chris Bowen is doing the right thing by the UN Refugee Convention, because UNHCR will NOT be a co-signatory to the stinking deal to deport asylum seekers to that country," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"Ever since boats started arriving on Australian shores in 1976, governments have callously denied and undermined the notion that Article 31 of the Refugee Convention accords them international rights to arrive "illegally and unannounced" to knock on Australia's doors and seek shelter from persecution," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Malcolm Fraser's government did deals with ASEAN countries to stop boats from arriving in Australia, under his government boats were sunk and sabotaged in Malaysia, and in callous collaboration between politicians and the arch-racist and control-driven immigration department, Fraser and his Immigration Ministers Michael MacKellar and Ian Macphee crafted the term "queue jumpers" to achieve their ends and manipulate public discourse suggesting illegality and opportunism on the part of boat arrivals."
"Ever since those first boats, Immigration Ministers and Conservative and Labor politicians in equal measure, have kept poisoning public perception and have been devoid of leadership and too frightened to look Australia's racism and xenophobia straight in the eye and do away with it with vigorous determination and nationwide education campaigns."
"If former immigration minister Philip Ruddock is the Immigration Minister who injected lethal political poison into public opinion and pour it liberally into the veins of the rights to access Federal and High Courts so boat arrivals could find justice, then Chris Bowen and Julia Gillard are the two henchmen who with machetes deliver the killer blow to Article 31 of the Refugee Convention."
"Bowen and Gillard are too afraid of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, and their driving motive is to "stop the boats to stop Tony Abbott howling", but the blows of their killer machetes will result in Australian public discourse being splattered with the blood spurting out of a dying body of international rights for maritime asylum seekers."
"Chris Bowen is too blinded to realise that nobody in Australia who honours human rights conventions and who acts in accordance with international law and universal justice will applaud him when at the next election Labor will trot out the sickening election line that "Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen Stopped the Boats, Please Vote Labor". Bowen and Gillard will join the ranks of callous and gutless politicians who are killing off the UN Convention, who are killing off the rights of unauthorised arrivals".
"The lines trotted out by Bowen about "people smugglers" are nothing more than the sauce he pours over his gutlessness to make it look credible. Instead, Bowen and Gillard will be responsible for boat journeys from Malaysia and Indonesia that will be three times as long and three times more dangerous."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]