Refugee update: indefinite detention

Posted by
4th February 2013

Imagine being locked up for your whole life without the prospect of release or review. That’s now Coalition policy.

Since the Federal Election date announcement last week, the Coalition has come out loud and clear with their toughest refugee policies yet, including ending reviews of adverse ASIO security assessments of people already found to be refugees. The independent reviewer has barely even begun the review process after the ALP reversed their own policy to support independent review late last year. Now the Coalition want ASIO to have unfettered power to indefinitely detain refugees and their families – with no option to review these decisions.

We know that not all Coalition MPs support this controversial and cruel new policy. We need to give dissenting Coalition MPs and Senators cover to speak out in the party room and change this policy before the Federal Election. Can you contact your Coalition representative now to ask them to support effective and independent review of ASIO decisions?

The conundrum refugees in this situation face is hopeless. As verified refugees they are owed protection by Australia and can’t be legally returned home where they face persecution. But they will not be allowed to live in the community, even when children are growing up behind fences.

Last year almost 50 000 Getup members called for an end of detention without charge, trial or appeal for refugees. You campaigned for the release of young mother Ranjini, and the other 50 refugees who were – and still are – facing life in detention, without having been charged with any crime.

Since then Ranjini has given birth to her baby boy, Paari, who could spend his whole life in immigration detention. The Government’s announcement of a review process for ASIO decisions gives them some hope. But if the Coalition have their way, families like Ranjini’s will be locked up forever, without any rights of appeal, without knowing the case against them.

But there is better way. It’s time we put some checks and balances in place and stop unreviewable, indefinite detention. Email your Coalition MP, and ask them to support a compassionate policy including an effective and independent review of ASIO decisions.

Last year, Getup members helped win the right for independent review of refugees with adverse ASIO security assessments. Now the Coalition have hung their election hopes on scrapping this review before it has even begun. Let’s not let them start a race to the bottom to try and win the election by competing to have the most cruel and inhumane refugee policy.

We know that Australia is better than that. When we raise our voices together in support of dignity, justice and human rights for refugees, we show it.

Thanks for all you do,
The GetUp team.

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  • Jeckles P. Morganheimer

    Well this new policy has helped the coalition jump 6% on the polls so it is obviously what the majority want.It is not our job to stand in the way of democracy where majority rules.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah … nothing else has been happening at all which might have swayed these highly volatile poll outcomes.

    Clearly this should be taken as a signal of what the majority thinks on this one issue.

  • Itzrob

    As a member of the silent majority I certainly can’t wait for the disgraceful Gillard Government to be decimated on Sept 14 and then have the Abbott Government give us a return to border protection.
    None of this would have happened if Rudd had not dismantled the Howard Policies that worked, so place the blame to where it belongs.

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