6 November 2003

Process asylum seekers, UN tells Australia

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) met with federal government representatives yesterday who assured the agency Australia would apply the refugee convention to the asylum seekers who reached the island aboard an Indonesian fishing vessel.

The government immediately moved to excise Melville Island and thousands of others from the migration zone to prevent the Turkish asylum seekers from applying for refugee status or accessing Australia's legal system.

But UNHCR regional representative Michel Gabaudan said the asylum seekers were Australia's responsibility and any attempt to return them to Indonesia was concerning.

Ho hum...

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