Professor Maley from the Australian National University today called for an end to the freeze, referring to a recent massacre in Uruzgan province where 11 Hazaras were decapitated and left to rot on the side of the road.Sarah Hanson-Young, Friday 17th September 2010: The Australian Greens say the Federal Government is still maintaining the wrong approach to dealing with vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Immigration and Human Rights, says adding another 1200 asylum-seekers at the Curtin Detention Centre and up to 300 at Scherger Airforce Base in Queensland reinforces the Government’s reliance on remote detention locations when it should be reducing it.
“The decision to expand Curtin and open a new centre in far north Queensland shows the Government’s immigration focus is on keeping vulnerable asylum-seekers out of sight, out of mind,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The Gillard Government has not learned the lessons from the failures of the past – we need to be bringing asylum-seekers to the mainland and housing them close to support and services, not leaving them languishing in isolated island centres or inappropriate desert prisons.
“The Greens also believe the Government must lift the suspension for Afghan asylum-seekers.
“On a day when Afghan expert Professor William Maley has re-emphasised the dangers and persecution faced by Hazaras if they are returned to Afghanistan, it is all the more important that our new Immigration Minister moves to end this bad, poorly conceived policy”.
The Greens have consistently opposed the suspension of processing of asylum claims from Sri Lanka (since lifted) and Afghanistan. Professor Maley from the Australian National University today called for an end to the freeze, referring to a recent massacre in Uruzgan province where 11 Hazaras were decapitated and left to rot on the side of the road.
“We also know that indefinite detention of people, particularly of children, leads to deteriorating levels of mental health. This policy risks a mental health crisis similar to that experienced during the dark days of the Howard regime,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“We can’t keep people in limbo any longer – the Government has to end the bottleneck that it has created by its own decisions. It’s time for an end to the suspension, a move to faster processing and a more humane, community-based approach.”