Open Letter to Labor

If You Read Just One Open Letter Opposing Labor’s Cruelty To Asylum Seekers, Make Sure It’s This One

By Liam McLoughlin 10/11/2015

(IMAGE: Takver, Flickr)

In an open letter to the Labor Party caucus, Liam McLoughlin lays bare the lies, cynicism and political cowardice that underpins the party’s position on asylum seekers.

Dear members of the Australian Labor Party Caucus,

I imagine you are decent, thoughtful and compassionate people in your private lives. I imagine you joined the Labor Party because you believe in its progressive values, like ‘fairness’ and ‘being a good global citizen’. I imagine you are committed to making a contribution to public life and perhaps even hope to make the light on the hill burn a little brighter.

I imagine this, even in the face of the depressing reality: most of you have again voted to support offshore processing. Yet again you have consented to some of the most heinous human rights abuses this country has ever seen. And we’ve seen a few.

Read the full letter here

Turnbull rejects NZ offer

Turnbull rejects New Zealand offer to take 150 refugees from detention

The Guardian – 29 April 2016

Malcolm Turnbull says Australia cannot afford to let empathy for asylum seekers ‘cloud our judgment’.

Malcolm Turnbull has again rejected an offer from New Zealand to take 150 refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centres saying: “Settlement in a country like New Zealand would be used by the people smugglers as a marketing opportunity.”

A spokeswoman for the New Zealand immigration minister, Michael Woodhouse, said on Thursday that an old offer to take 150 asylum seekers a year remained on the table, but he had not been approached by the Australian government.

Read full article here

Alternatives to Manus Island

The alternatives to the Manus Island detention centre

ABC News 28 April 2016

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced on Wednesday that Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island is to be closed.

This decision follows the PNG Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that the detention of asylum seekers and recognised refugees in the processing centre are unconstitutional.

Manus 5

Asylum seekers stare at media from behind a fence

Read the full article here

Today at MITA – Pamela Curr

 Message from Pamela Curr, ASRC – 20 April 2016

ONE OF THE WORST OF DAYS AT THE MITA

MITA – formerly a transit camp at Broadmeadows- now a HIGH SECURITY PRISON

Today Border Force has broken up friendship groups at the MITA. 27 single men are now locked up in Calder, isolated from their friends and only able to make contact after applying in writing to request a visit. It has been clarified that no time lines are given for when these requests will be honoured. It depends on SERCO staff deciding if there is a suitable time and space in visits.

Read full message here

Melissa Parke’s speech at L4R Dinner

Melissa Parke’s speech to Labor for Refugees Victoria
8 April 2016

Melissa Parke Extract:

“I’d now like to apologise to you all: the present political class of which I am a member has let Australia down badly – it has put in place, not just physically and legally but also psychologically, the grotesque system that Australia has developed over the past 15-plus years to treat some of the world’s most vulnerable people who turn to this country for help.

“We intercept boats at sea, turn some around and deliver others directly into the hands of Sri Lankan or Vietnamese authorities. We pay people smugglers, we fund dark advertisements in the region warning that asylum seekers coming by boat will never be settled in Australia; we then endeavour to destroy the hopes, dreams and spirit of those who have arrived by boat. The fact that the UN refugee convention says that refugees shall not be punished for the manner of their arrival is ignored. ”

“When political leadership is missing, as it is right now, it is the community that can shame them into action.”

“Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children came from around Australia to protest at the national parliament last month – against the backdrop of the green parliamentary lawns there was a sea of white hair and purple clothes – it was a truly magnificent sight! ”

“The Palm Sunday rallies around the country last month were huge – the Perth one was the biggest I have ever been to. The City of Fremantle is one of 143 local governments around the nation to become a Refugee Welcome Zone.”

“The momentum is building throughout Australia against an unjust and an unsustainable situation.”

Read Melissa’s full speech here

Wilson Security’s appalling record on Nauru

Wilson Security’s appalling record on Nauru

The Saturday Paper – 9 April 2016

‘Wilson Security is subcontracted by Transfield to provide security services on the offshore detention centres in Nauru and Manus. Within Australia, their guards protect government buildings, foreign embassies and politicians. Since Tony Abbott was elected prime minister in September 2013, Wilson Security has successfully bid for $478 million worth of contracts.  But controversy has dogged the company.’

Read the full article here

2015 – Open Letter from current & former Nauru staff

This letter was published in 2015 a full year ago … we can’t say we didn’t know …

Open Letter from current & former Nauru staff

7 April 2015

Open letter from detention centre employees alleges Australian government knew of physical and sexual abuse of asylum seekers on Nauru more than a year before it acted

Read the open letter from current and former Nauru staff

………………………………….

This article in The Guardian was published 7 April 2015 

Nauru staff call for closure of asylum centre and royal commission into abuse

In an unprecedented move, 23 current and former medical staff, teachers, social workers and child protection staff have signed an open letter calling for the removal of all asylum seekers from Nauru to Australia. They have also called for a royal commission into sexual abuse on Nauru and into the government’s response.

6.30pm Sun 10 April ABC TV: Compass: Sanctuary

DON’T MISS next Sunday 10 April ABC TV  – COMPASS PROGRAM

The Moral Compass – Sanctuary

Next on Compass, should Australian churches be offering sanctuary to asylum seekers?

In open defiance of the government, church leaders around the country are invoking the historical concept of sanctuary by opening their doors to asylum seekers at risk of being returned to Nauru.

Do such moral and religious precepts have a place in the control of our borders or is such well intentioned compassion misplaced? The Moral Compass next Sunday 10th at 6.30 pm          http://www.abc.net.au/compass/

ABC TV