Thursday December 27, 2008 8:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"During this Christmas holiday, there is - contrary to repeated promises by the Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans - no room in 'the Australian Inn' for the first boatload of a dozen asylum seekers, who have now been jailed on the isolated refugee jail island for 90 days," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"Not just the Immigration Minister, but all of Federal Labor, including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, have been adamant since 2004, that Labor would complete processing of 90% of all asylum seekers within 90 days. This weekend the first boat arrivals, the 12 asylum seekers who arrived at the end of September this year, have been locked up on Christmas Island for 90 days, but the Minister is not there, there is no announcement of resettlement of any of the asylum seekers on the mainland, and Labor's decent processing promise drowns with deafening silence inside the Immigration Department," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"While Immigration officials on Christmas Island have been told this week to prepare for the arrival for another 70 asylum seekers who are due to arrive, and while John Howard's Prison Island Gulag is open for business with hundreds of padlocked steel-barred and cramped spaces, the generous Australian Inn is closed, and there is no space in this Inn for the promises made by Chris Evans, and there is also no space for Evans' promises that there is no need to lock people up in detention centres after initial health and security checks and initial interviews are complete: Evans keeps asylum seekers locked up indefinitely."
"Chris Evans is a man of unbelievably nice manners and words. Indeed, they are unbelievable, and they should not be believed," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]