Monthly Archives: April 2014

TIME magazine: Australia’s Shame


It’s harsh policy toward asylum seekers betrays the human rights values it should stand for. 

(By Ian lloyd Neubauer – Page 33,  March 31, 2014)

Slightly edited extracts from the article. (found at )

Over the past six months I have watched in muffled horror as my country, Australia, voted in, and then loudly applauded, a government that has put into play a policy to stop asylum seekers from landing uninvited on our shores …

Australia sends asylum seekers to outsourced tent prisons run by private security companies in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Their inmates stand a chance of being raped, catching malaria, and  growing so desperate that some have sown their lips together to hunger strike, or have asked their keepers for gasoline to self-immolate.

In February a 23 year old Iranian, Reza Barati, was killed during a riot at the detention centre on Manus Island.

Inmates are denied access to lawyers and journalists, and pressured to return to the hellholes they spent their life savings running away from.

The UNHCR has criticised the camps as unsafe and inhumane.

Behind the government’s smug righteousness lies a powerful but unspoken undercurrent of Islamaphobia rooted in the White Australia policy.

We hope that the government will close the camps, and find a humane solution worthy of a wealthy, multicultural nation, lest the world begin to look upon us as the monsters we have become.

And from Phllip Freier (Who happens to be the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne) on the Children.

Manus Island – Refugees

Colin Smith writes to the Age – Apr 6, 2014
We are the problem!

”100 days without a boat” reads the headline (30/3). Problem solved.

But what was the problem? They were ”illegal”?
No. What is illegal is our failure to honour the Refugee Convention.

Asylum Seeker returned to Indonesia. Photo: Achmad Ibrahim

They are all ”economic refugees”?
No. Nobody would take such risks merely to better themselves. More than 90 per cent are found to be genuine refugees.

They will be a burden?
No. The burden is the huge cost of indefinite detention. And by getting here they have proved their courage and character.

But they may be terrorists?
Hardly. They are fleeing terrorists.

We must save them from drowning?
But if we were worried about that we would listen to the Greens: process people over there, determine who is genuine and fly them here – as Malcolm Fraser did with the Vietnamese.

But then we will be swamped?
No. There will be a queue at last. We will, indeed, be deciding who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.

So there’s no problem?
No. There’s a terrible problem. It is what we are doing – to them and to ourselves.

Colin Smith, St Kilda