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Deported Lankans not genuine refugees-Australia

19 April 2013 12:06 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While claiming that some of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers deported on Thursday did not speak with lawyers before they were expelled, Australian Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor said authorities had found no evidence that those who were returned were genuine refugees.

The government on Thursday sent 39 Sri Lankans home on a charter flight, including 38 of the 66 asylum seekers who arrived in Geraldton after 44 days at sea last week.

The group was sent back after being subject to ''enhanced screening'' processes, in which people are ''screened out'' of the refugee determination process, before they have entered into the formal processing period.

Mr O'Connor said authorities had found no evidence that those who were returned were genuine refugees.

And he defended his department over revelations some of those asylum seekers forcibly returned did not meet with lawyers to help them understand the screening process.

''I've been advised those that have not been provided with legal advice did not seek legal advice,'' Mr O'Connor said. ''In these individual circumstances they did not engage our international obligations.''

Mr O'Connor did not directly respond when he was asked on Friday why all asylum seekers had not been afforded access to lawyers even if they did not know to ask for one.

Women and children were among those sent home, Mr O'Connor said, after authorities had determined they did not have genuine claims for refugee status in Australia.

But refugee advocates described the process as an abuse of process and unlawful.

Refugee lawyer David Manne, who successfully led the High Court challenge against the government's Malaysia solution, said the expulsions were ''a radical retreat'' from long-standing laws and practices in Australia.

''Did Govt tell Geraldton arrivals of their statutory rights to legal advice and to apply for protection under due process?'' MrManne asked on Twitter. ''If not, why not?''
Mr O'Connor said with 46 million displaced people around the world, Australia as a wealthy nation had ''an obligation to assist''. ''But we must ensure that when we dedicate resources to provide places for people fleeing persecution that those places must be filled with people who are genuinely fleeing persecution.''(WA Today)


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  Comments - 8

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  • Uditha Karaputugala Saturday, 20 April 2013 12:33 AM

    So, the PM Of Australia should be the queen of the world, am waiting for that email spam to do the rounds, for a bold action.

    MagodisThuma Saturday, 20 April 2013 01:18 AM

    Hmmm....I'm thinking about my power bill in Australia !

    nalaka Saturday, 20 April 2013 01:57 AM

    Sorry.com to you

    Ron Saturday, 20 April 2013 02:59 AM

    Good call. Australia is being taken for a ride by economic refugees and people smugglers.

    RamUk Friday, 19 April 2013 12:22 PM

    after the treatment on landing they will qualify as refugee ...

    bbb Friday, 19 April 2013 12:54 PM

    Hhh

    Kalu Sudda Saturday, 20 April 2013 04:00 AM

    Finally a man with testicles. My only complaint is why not deport them to Tamil Nadu

    rajeev s kumar Saturday, 20 April 2013 05:02 AM

    finally Australia send them a message....well done sir.


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