18 November 2003

Tampering with asylum: confessions of a Jesuit priest

BARISTA points to Frank Brennan's article on Webdiary today. Like almost everything Brennan writes, it is a must read.

Three year temporary protection visas denying the right to travel and return to Australia (in breach of the Convention on Refugees), denying the right of family reunion and denying access to permanent protection and residence if the person transited a country such as Malaysia for seven days where they could be deemed to have had the opportunity to seek protection. This deeming exercise is very artificial when you consider that Malaysian minister Dr Rais Yatim explained last week why Malaysia would not sign the Refugee Convention:

We have had a series of understandings with (other countries), that once their people come here and claim asylum, we automatically tell them to return. Our policy is very simple, those who have no valid documents will not be allowed to stay in our country.

Usually, you'd expect the Malaysian policy to be heavily criticised in Australia. It is not because it is so very close to our own.

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