Legal challenge for offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru

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The Abbott government’s offshore refugee policy is facing a new legal challenge that seeks to hold the Commonwealth legally responsible for conditions in its overseas detention camps because the decisions to open and operate them were made in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald – Chris Vedelago The Sunday Age understands the claim is an attempt to refute the government’s long-standing position ... Read More »

The attack on Triggs is an Abbott stitch-up

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Australia is witnessing a political stitch-up of extraordinary proportions. Not by Professor Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission, as the Prime Minister might wail and cry. No, it is clear what is going on. The Abbott government is cynically moving to de-legitimise certain institutions that perform vital roles in the democratic life of this nation. The Age – Editorial Its ... Read More »

Amnesty International condemns Australia’s asylum seeker policies, labels counter-terrorism measures ‘regressive’ and says global response to terrorist groups ‘shameful’

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ABC/AFP – Amnesty International has delivered a scathing report on Australia’s approach to human rights, labelling the offshore processing of asylum seekers and the detention of children as inhumane and degrading. In its annual report, Amnesty also condemned the high number of Indigenous people in Australian prisons and described legislation introduced in the name of counter-terrorism and security as “regressive”. Amnesty’s ... Read More »

Attacks on our Human Rights Commission are part of a broader disturbing trend

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The federal government is actively undermining a range of vital checks and balances and stifling criticism of its actions. This is corrosive for democracy and human rights. The Age – Hugh de Kretser The extraordinary revelations in Senate estimates on Tuesday reveal the depths of the government’s attacks on the Australian Human Rights Commission. In early February, Attorney-General George Brandis asked the ... Read More »

Bloody UnAustralian to attack government’s treatment of asylum seekers

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The next documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Eva Orner aims to expose Australia’s asylum seeker policy to the world. SBS – By Oliver Pfeiffer “Over a long period of time I’ve been watching what’s been happening in horror and I felt that I couldn’t just sit back anymore – I had to do something about it,” says filmmaker Eva Orner, who is targeting ... Read More »

Australia Is Closing Immigration Detention Centres But it’s Not All Good News


The Australian government has hailed its “stop the boats” policy as a success. So much so that they’ve closed 11 detention centers in the past year, a number that will soon include Darwin’s Bladin Alternative Place of Detention, as announced over the weekend. Bladin, which houses families and children, will close its doors on April 7, only months after the ... Read More »

Spend money fighting child porn, not asylum seekers: judge

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One of Victoria’s longest-serving judges has urged the federal government to divert part of the money it spends detaining refugees to combating child pornography crimes. The Sydney Morning Herald - Stephen Butcher Judge Michael McInerney said there had been an “abject failure by the Commonwealth to advise the community of the dangerous consequences” of committing child pornography offences. The community still did not understand the “serious ... Read More »

Asylum seekers: A tale of two reports

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Malcolm Turnbull did his homework before Monday’s appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program. Knowing last week’s report on children in immigration detention would be raised, he came briefed by new Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and armed with the latest statistics. The Age - Michael Gordon, Political editor, The Age Unlike his ministerial colleagues, Turnbull chose not to take aim at the messenger, ... Read More »

On asylum seekers, Malcolm Turnbull asks us to swallow the unswallowable

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Turnbull’s supporters love his peacock performances. But his defence of Philip Ruddock and the government’s asylum seeker policy are no improvement on Abbott The Guardian – Richard Ackland Malcolm Turnbull’s peacock performance on Monday night’s Q&A kept his adoring audience spellbound. Surely, though, he was having a lend of us. In particular, he expected us to swallow two unswallowable assertions: Philip ... Read More »

Comment: Do we care more about convicted criminals than vulnerable children?

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Why does our government care more for the plight of convicted drug smugglers than they do for defenceless and highly vulnerable children? SBS - By Lilani Goonesena Last week, Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek pleaded for clemency in a bipartisan motion against the imminent execution of Australian heroin smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. It was an impassioned and moving occasion that ... Read More »