Only Politically Correct Refugees Allowed

The Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, has written an extraordinary piece for The Australian newspaper (which unfortunately does not appear to be online). Amazingly, after starting off saying “there needs to be increased understanding of our protection visa obligations,” she then goes on to say that “it is the Government’s strong preference that protection is not offered in Australia to Papuan separatists” – a statement which is a blatant contradiction of the provisions of the Refugee Convention, and therefore of the Migration Act which the Minister is supposed to be overseeing.

The notion that countries can pick and choose who they provide protection to on the basis of the refugee’s political beliefs runs completely counter to Refugee Convention, which depends on establishing a fear of persecution, not assessing the acceptability of their political views. If every other nation adopted the same attitude, the entire global system of protecting refugees would be at risk of collapse.

It is also hard to see how the remaining West Papuan on Christmas Island – or any future asylum seekers – can expect a fair decision from the Department when the Minister is giving such specific, public directions.

In an amazing act of historical whitewashing, the Minister also says thatso-called Papuan nationalism in Indonesia is based on nothing more than hostility to people from other parts of Indonesia.” She also says it is “racist sentiment” and “a toxic cause that could, if encouraged, result in chaos, death and suffering on Australia’s doorstep.”

In seems that truth is little more than incidental these days. I don’t think it is so much calculated and deliberate lies, but rather that statements are made based on what is convenient for the moment and there is no concern about whether it corresponds with the truth or not.

The opening sentences of this ill-informed, irresponsible, inflammatory and aggressive article provides probably the most amazing combination of shameless, brazen irony and up-your-nose arrogance I have seen (so far) from this government.

“The controversy surrounding the Papuan asylum-seeker issue shows yet again how a flurry of ill-informed and irresponsible commentary can obscure important issues. It seems inflammatory and aggressive commentary will always push cautious, reasoned and balanced argument out of the public space. The verbal sabre-rattling should be left to undergraduates and commentators who skim the issue du jour.”

The Immigration Minister has an enormous range of discretionary powers under the Migration Act. In many instances, the way these discretionary powers are used (or not used) cannot be appealed against in any way. One can only hope that no one from West Papua ends up having to rely on Minister Vanstone’s discretion.

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31 Comments

  1. I remember during the TAMPA stand off the three morons – Ruddock, Downer and Reith went caps in hand to Indonesia to force them to protect refugees even though Australia has always been aware that Indonesia refuses to do so. Records received from the UNHCR show that Indonesia has sent over 800 men, women and children back to Afghanistan and Iraq.

    With our connivance of course because we managed to pay the International Organisation of mercenaries over $170 million in lock ’em up illegally money, send ’em home in breach of the law money, and hush money for doing it.

    That is just for the past three years.

    There is something truly grotesque in the proposition of this government that we as a nation will traffic people to other countries because it is inconvenient for us to annoy Indonesia. It seems to go like this.

    Refugees from West Papua arrive here. We ship them to Nauru, a nation that is a mendicant place reliant on bribes to keep it afloat and a nation that is not signatory to the refugee convention and a nation we have bled dry for phosphate.

    From Nauru we will then employ the international organisation of mercenaries, at great expense, to lock them up for us – it will be OK though as Dr Mal Washer says the kids will only be locked up like animals at night – and then hope to god some third country will accept them – trafficking.

    Here are some examples of people trafficking that have already been found by the Edmund Rice Centre, Dr David Corlett and myself over the past few years.

    1. The Kadem family of Iraqis sent on false papers to Vietnam only to be sent back to Australia after being imprisoned in Bangkok after Vietnam refused them. Then they were sent on other false documents, claiming children not born in Iraq were born in Iraq I presume, dumped at the border of Jordan and bribes paid at the border by Australia so they can cross the deserts into Iraq during the invasion. There were 6 children, 2 young men had married Australians and had children born here. They were both psychotic after 5 years of detention. One baby girl was born here.

    2. Mr Al Kateeb, a Palestinian refugee, stateless man, sent to Thailand on false documents made by DIMA, anything to escape Australia after 4 years in detention. He now lives illegally in Thailand most of the time and has to cross into Cambodia every month and back again to get a new entry visa. He cannot ever go home because he is stateless.

    3. In July 2004 the Afghan Embassy in Canberra issued Afghan passports to two of her citizens. Three weeks later these were returned to the embassy by DIMA because DIMA had got Pakistani travel documents. Dr Corlett tracked down one of them and he had been arrested and imprisoned on arrival in Pakistan and lived in hiding in Quetta as a non-person. Who gave DIMA the right to do this? I have the evidence and an admission by DIMA that they did it that I have passed on to Lateline.

    4. Mazhar Ali was sent to Karachi on an Australian certificate of Identity which he did not apply for. He was also arrested at Karachi and bribes were paid by Australian officers to let him go. This evidence was presented to the Federal court in May 2004.

    5. Eidriss is a Kuwaiti national, stateless Sudanese descent refugee who was sent to South Africa and bounced back to Australia because DIMA supplied false documents to him. They freely admit this.

    6. Roqia and Ali Bakhtiyari and their six children were sent with false documents to Pakistan where they were arrested at the airport until bribes were paid. These documents claim that a baby born in Australia magically managed to also be born in Quetta, Pakistan. It is illegal under the law to make or use unsigned and unrequested documents to take people out of Australia – the ombudsman’s reports on long term detention make that abundantly clear. A serial rapist from Vietnam, a conviced pedophile from England, a suspected war criminal from Afghanistan, not deported because they would not sign papers.

    7. Vivian Alvarez was deported with no documents and no application for documents ever made to DFAT or DIMA.

    8. They tried to deport Cornelia Rau to Germany but they would not supply travel documents as they had no record of her being a German.

    On and on go the lists. Bedoons to Syria, Palestinians to Jordan, Iraqis to Syria and Jordan, Afghans to Pakistan.

    All on false documents and all punishable by law by 20 years in prison.

    Now we want to re-open Ruddock’s smugglers routes to deny the rights of some Papuans.

    It is a sick obscenity and we have a law called NAGV and NAGW that says we cannot do it.

  2. It’s a powerful argument for reducing the scope of ministerial discretion in the Migration Act. These comments are, as you point out, fundamentally prejudicial to the fair assessment of any individual’s refugee claim.

  3. “If every other nation adopted the same attitude, the entire global system of protecting refugees would be at risk of collapse.”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    The global refugee industry is corrupt, and has become an excuse for people trafficking and political exploitation. It should collapse; better yet, it should be proactively dismantled by the nations who are its victims.

  4. EP, what you seem to be advocating is the total genocide of 20 million people. If they have no mechanism for protection from persecution or torture anywhere in the world they die.

    Is that what you are saying. Refugees are not an industry, that is one of the most obscene things you have ever come up with.

    Should Chad just send home 200,000 Sudanese to die?

  5. Once again you spout hysterical nonsense.

    Nowhere have I called for “the total genocide of 20 million poeple”.

    I am calling for an end to the current, obsolete and corrupt “refugee” system, which is little more than a source of income for people-smugglers and lawyers, as well as a subject for political grandstanding by the ignorant and short-sighted.

    Existing refugee treaties should be abolished, and in their place should be established that each nation has the sole and absolute discretion to decide who is allowed to enter the country and under what circumstances.

    This would of course not require any country to expel refugees, if that country was willing to take them.

    As for Sudan, your hypocrisy is breathtaking. The only — repeat, only — way to stop the genocide there is for the developed countries to use military force. But of course, you’re against anything like that.

  6. After a recent discussion on refugees, I’m content to conclude that if a potential refugee has a political motive that they’re not a genuine refugee and if that they’re genuine they’ll take the safest route to the nearest safe harbour by that route. All else should be turned away because they are in no way genuine

  7. Well said, Evil Pundit & Vee!!!
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Marilyn could have had a wonderful career in Soviet Russia as a commissar.She has a great talent for re-writing history and leaving out facts, or misrepresenting facts, which don’t fit-in with her prejudices.

    To take one of the cases she used/quoted above -the Kadem Family:

    Marilyn says:
    They were “sent on FALSE papers to Vietnam only to be sent back to Australia after being imprisoned in Bangkok after Vietnam refused them”
    The Age October 30,2003 ( & many other sources ) say:
    ” Vietnam and Thailand turned them back (despite their VALID tourist visas) after being alerted that they were deportees.”
    The whole story is Vietnam had agreed to allow them to transit on condition that on passaging through their country they did create a rumpus-but the family, use to they were to manipulately the Australia media decided to try it on the media while in Vietnam, whose govt then reneged

    And she (conveniently) fails to mention:
    1)The small matter of Abdul Kadem (the father) being convicted (and pleading guilty to) people smuggling -( for which he received money), &
    2) That fact that other refugee applicants complained they had been threatened & abused by Kadem family members,or
    3)The fact members of the family were involved in “punching out windows” & the like while in transit

    She also did not mention that since leaving Australia the family has settled back in Baghdad.
    And while Baghdad would not be the best place in the world to live at the moment. If the Kadem family are entitled to refugee status-on such grounds, so are the other 5.77 million residents of Baghdad

    Which brings up another characteristic of Marilyn and the refugee advocates. While they talk about fairness they practice TOKENISM.

  8. Marilyn, I noticed that you still havent answered a question that I have asked you many times.

    “What about the people who are tortured and thier lives made a living hell because of those that fled”

    Or dont they count?

  9. Martin have you read the case against Kadem? He was translating in Indonesia for god’s sake. Since when on earth can Australia send anyone to jail in Australia for translating in Indonesia? Is translating a crime?

    They were not valid passports or Vietnam would have accepted them and it is against all laws to notify a foreign country that they are deportees. Bloody hell you are talking about young children being put at risk and then blaming them for it. Was it the children’s fault they were in jail for 4 years? Was the little girl born in jail a criminal? Did she deserve to be dumped at the border of Jordan to pay bribes to get to Baghdad? She was born here, most of her siblings were born in Kuwait or Iran. Why dump them like cockroaches to be bombed in Baghdad.

    Maybe in hundreds or thousands of other Iraqis had been sent back that would be one thing but it was only one family. Are we savages that we have to treat them this way.

    EP if refugees cannot get somewhere safe where do you think they go? Dead you moron.

    Jolanda, those left behind that are tortured are those left behind who are tortured. Now here is the thing. Without refugees leaving how the hell do you think the world knows about it? Those left behind mostly choose to save one member of their family to help their village or town.

    Don’t you people know yet how the refugee convention works? You have all had the past 5 years to see what happens to people.

    Now if 146 nations who guaranteed to protect refugees with a well founded fear of persecution refuse to then do so what do you think happens to the refugees?

    The fact Martin is also this – we cannot help the people left in Baghdad because they are not here. The Kadem family were here. Do you understand the proximity thing?

    It’s a bit like turning away a rape victim at your door because there might be a rape victim three streets over.

    Under the law of Australia we have an absolute obligation to help those who arrive here. Not those in refugee camps in Peshawar (which are the training grounds for the Taliban by the way), not those in Kakuma refugee camps, not those in any other country on earth.

    The law says “to be considered for refugee status the person has to be in Australia.”

    Why is that concept so difficult to accept?

    Now to those left behind again Jolanda. What does Australia or the rest of the world do for them do you think? Do we help them, do we nurture them, do we pay aid or lobby their governments to stop persecuting and killing people? No we don’t – we help to blow them to bits.

    If we wanted to help them we would stop whining about a few asylum seekers, stop squandering billions locking them up and help those left behind by forcing the governments to behave.

    Also Martin, not one refugee advocate lawyer in Australia ever got rich, most of them worked for nothing out of the frustration of the sheer cruelty of the system. The only lawyers who got rich are the lawyers from Clayton Utz, private barristers and others who worked FOR the government to stop refugees and other migrants from getting a fair hearing.

    Now to the claim of Tokenism. The Kadems were entitled to refugee status because they were shi’ite muslims who had been forced out of their homes, were persecuted for their religion and so on. Not because they came from Baghdad, they didn’t come from Baghdad so we had no right to force them to go there.

    We certainly had no right to do it while there was no government in Iraq to offer them protection from the type of massacres and mess we have now.

    Now for the people who still don’t get the “we will decide” story – it was tripe from day one. It was just a slogan because the reality is that our law decides who comes and then decides who stays and who goes.

    When we put the refugee convention into our domestic law that is when we decided who would come here – and that is anyone who feels they have a wellfounded fear of persecution in their own country.

    It makes no difference if they fly in from the moon, or come on a leaky boat, or any of that other rubbish that Howard and Ruddock spout.

    The reality is that almost every person who came on the boats was granted protection visas which means they are refugees and always were.

    The rest of it was made up.

    By the way Martin, the Kadems did not settle back comfortably in Baghdad. They had two psychotic sons who could not get decent medical care, the mum had a backyard abortion of the child conceived in detention and there is not a trace of evidence anywhere that the Kadem family threatened or harmed anyone at all. Where on earth does this crap come from? Philip Ruddock, that fount of the truth and nothing but the truth?

    Spare me the vilification of innocent people in the name of politics. I believe the Kadems were forced to flee back into Iran as have hundreds of thousands of Iraqis over the last three years.

    This inhumanity to fellow human beings, the willingness to make up stupid stories and so on has become deranged.

    We, by law, owe protection only to those people who get here and are deemed to be refugees, then we have to help their families, but we don’t.

  10. Marilyn,
    The Kadems were very adaptive.
    They first used the excuse that they were subject to religious persecution being “shite muslims”.
    Later in the piece, when this didn’t appear to be working, they changed tact.
    Abdul Kadems in his interview with the ABC programme PM of 18 October 2003
    gives his reasons for applying for refugee status as seeking to avoid the war & lawlessness in Iraq.

    In regard to people smuggling:
    Abdul Kadem claimed to be merely a “translator”
    The COURT FOUND him to be an “organizer”
    And it wasn’t “for Gods sake” but for MONEY SAKE that he did it!!!

    And the “bribes” you talk about was a resettlement package designed to assist the family move back to Iraq.

    You say you cannot do anything about the refugees back in the camps but your actions of allowing/encouraging the most cunning & the most aggressive to push their way to the front of the queue effectively relegates the genuine refugees

  11. Here is the transcript for Abdul Kadem, the man Martin is convinced is some evil criminal.

    The judges are terribly confused in this case – there is no crime called “translating” for god’s sake. Like every person on the boat he was just a refugee with a perfectly legal right to enter Australia – they tricked him into confessing to a non-crime and sent him to jail while his wife and children never had even one chance to claim refugee status and they were certainly refugees.

    Supreme Court of Western Australia o Court of
    Appeal

    KADEM ovo THE QUEEN [2002] WASCA 133 (9 April 2002)
    Last Updated: 16 May 2002
    JURISDICTION : SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    TITLE OF COURT : COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL
    CITATION : KADEM ovo THE QUEEN [2002] WASCA 133
    CORAM : WALLWORK J
    MURRAY J
    McKECHNIE J
    HEARD : 9 APRIL 2002
    DELIVERED : 9 APRIL 2002
    PUBLISHED : 16 MAY 2002
    FILE NO/S : CCA 141 of 2001
    BETWEEN : ABDUL HUSSEIN KADEM
    Applicant
    AND
    THE QUEEN
    Respondent
    Catchwords:
    Criminal law o Sentence o Illegal immigrant o Delay of one year in laying charges o He had confessed almost immediately on apprehension o Coooperated with authorities o On appeal
    Legislation: Migration Act 1958 (Cth), s 232A Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), s 16A, s 21E, s 29D
    Result: Appeal allowed

    Background
    2 On 1 November 1999 the applicant with his wife who was pregnant and five children arrived illegally at Ashmore Reef on board an Indonesian boat, the “Harapan Satu”. The applicant and his family were some of the 353 illegal immigrants on board the boat. They had made three attempts to travel illegally to Australia by boat. This was their third attempt.
    3 The applicant had initially paid the sum of $8,500 to a person known as “Ahmed”, an Indonesian citizen, in order to secure a passage to Australia for himself and his family. “Ahmed” subsequently offered to refund the applicant’s money if the applicant acted as an interpreter for other asylum seekers. The applicant agreed to assist Ahmed in that capacity.
    4 On arrival at Ashmore Reef the applicant and his family were immediately taken into immigration detention. He was first interviewed by federal agents on 5 November 1999. He immediately coooperated with the investigating agents. He was not charged with any offence until approximately one year later in December 2000. He was brought before the Perth Court of Petty Sessions for the first time on 19 January 2001. He initially faced two charges, being:
    (1) Between 1 September 1999 and 1 November 1999 at Ashmore Islands he facilitated the bringing into Australia of a group of 350 people and did so assuming that the people would become, upon entry into Australia, unlawful nonocitizens
    contrary to s 232A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
    (2) Between 1 July 1999 and 30 October 1999 at Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia he facilitated the bringing into Australia of a group of more than five people and did so knowing that the people would become, upon entry into Australia, unlawful nonocitizens contrary to s 232A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
    5 The applicant ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of between 7 September and 2 November 1999 knowingly facilitating the bringing to Australia of a group of five or more unlawful citizens contrary to s 232A of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). The specific acts of facilitation alleged against the applicant were agreed as between the Crown and the defence.
    6 The agreed acts of facilitation appear at page 159 of the appeal papers and are as follows:
    (1) On one occasion the applicant met a family of nonocitizens at the airport on their arrival in Indonesia and assisted to escort them from the airport to the hotel.
    (2) The applicant met nonocitizens at the hotel and translated and paid for them on behalf of Ahmed when they were threatened with eviction. He was later reimbursed.
    (3) The applicant negotiated for and collected money for nonocitizens on behalf of Ahmed.
    (4) The applicant interpreted between organisers and nonocitizens and acted as a goobetween when necessary.
    (5) The applicant interpreted for nonocitizens relating to travel on buses.
    (6) The applicant paid some hotel accommodation, travel and food expenses on behalf of Ahmed.
    7 It was agreed that the applicant had made three attempts to travel to Australia unlawfully by boat and that the two earlier attempts had been unsuccessful. In the statement of agreed facts it was stated that initially the applicant had arranged with the smuggler Ahmed to travel by boat to Australia with 140 people in August 1999. He has not been able to arrange for the $US8,500 payment to Ahmed on time and so was unable to travel on that boat. He later apparently paid Ahmed that sum of money for his family to travel on the next available boat. The applicant then agreed to assist Ahmed to ensure that the next boat would have enough people to allow it to travel viably. He said he did this because he was worried about the time being taken to arrange the passage in light of the fact that he and his family’s visas had expired and
    also because Ahmed had agreed to refund the $US8,500 paid if the applicant assisted him.
    8 It is stated that an agreement was made between the smugglers, Ahmed and “Majid”, that Majid would take the boat, repair it and ferry the nonocitizens to Australia. Majid would be paid $60,000. More nonocitizens were needed. Some
    nonocitizens paid further amounts of money. The boat was to leave from Sumbawa.
    9 The nonocitizens travelled from Jakarta by bus and then by bus and ferry through Bali, Lombok and then to Sumbawa. They then embarked from the beach at night in small boats to a larger boat. Majid had replaced Ahmed’s crew with his
    own. Majid supervised the departure and, in particular, when the boat was boarded by local police officers, he allegedly arranged for a bribe to those officers.
    10 The boat arrived at Ashmore on 1 November 1999. The applicant received no direct financial gain from the arrangements other than the promise of free passage for him and his family to Australia. He did not receive his $US8,500 back.
    Sentencing
    11 When sentencing the applicant, the learned Judge said that the statutory penalty for the applicant’s offending behaviour had recently been increased in response to what was seen by the Government to be a dramatic increase in the trade of people trying to enter Australia illegally. On 22 July 1999 the penalty for the relevant offence had been increased to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $220,000 or both.
    12 The learned Judge said that “facilitating” meant organising or helping in a lesser role in the bringing of nonocitizens into Australia. His Honour said that the applicant and his wife had been part of a group of 353 people on a fishing vessel. All of those people were nonocitizens, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan. They did not hold Australian passports or entry visas and thus were classified as unlawful nonocitizens. He said that the applicant had been in Iran in 1990. In July 1999 he had been given the telephone number of a person who, he was told, could help him and his family to get to Australia.
    13 The applicant was fluent in Arabic and Farsi and in Indonesian, as well as English, because he had been able to communicate with his counsel and had not needed an interpreter during the proceedings. He had left Iran and gone to Malaysia where he arrived on 6 July 1999. He had then proceeded to Indonesia. He arrived there on 13 July 1999. On the applicant’s first attempt to reach Australia there had been difficulties. On a second attempt there were further difficulties. Eventually he had been able to join the group of people on the particular boat which had arrived at the Ashmore Islands.
    14 The learned Judge said he had disregarded certain allegations that may have established that the applicant had played a greater role in the hierarchy than the captain and crew of the vessel. His Honour said that in the statement of material
    facts it had been agreed that the applicant had assisted as the middle man between the people organizing the smuggling of the illegal immigrants and the nonocitizens who had intended to come to Australia. His Honour said he had been told that the applicant was the first person in such a role to come before the Courts for sentence.
    15 The learned Judge said that the primary organising smuggler had been a man named Ahmed, an Indonesian. He was the person that the applicant had principally dealt with and he was the person concerning whom the applicant had assisted the authorities. By that, his Honour meant that the applicant had provided certain information to the relevant authorities. The Judge said that Ahmed had organised two failed attempts and had then had made arrangements for another smuggler called Majid with a third boat. This was the boat that the applicant had joined.
    16 The Judge said that the applicant had originally paid $US8,500 for himself and his family to Ahmed. The initial trip had not been successful because the boat was unable to reach the destination. There had been a further trip. The deal was that if the applicant provided assistance to Ahmed in relation to ensuring that other people were available and were able to pay money, and if the application acted as Ahmed’s goobetween with those people, Ahmed would refund the applicant his money. Therefore the applicant and his family would not have to pay for the trip to Australia.
    17 The learned Judge said that the applicant had not received any money apart from having the promise of his passage being refunded. The applicant had never had the money refunded, but it had been promised that he would have it refunded.
    18 With respect to the facilitation, his Honour said that the Crown relied on the following matters: the applicant had met a family of nonocitizens on their arrival at the airport and had escorted them to a hotel. He had met nonocitizens at the hotel and translated and paid for them on behalf of Ahmed. When they were threatened with eviction, the money the applicant paid was later reimbursed to him. The applicant had negotiated for and collected money from nonocitizens on behalf of Ahmed. He had interpreted between the organisers and nonocitizens and had acted as a goobetween when necessary. He had interpreted for the nonocitizens relating to travel on buses and on the ferry trip from Jakarta to the eventual point of departure.
    19 His Honour said that he had received several letters and statements from nonocitizens who had confirmed that the applicant had interpreted for people who could not speak English. He had explained to those people what Ahmed wanted.
    That confirmed much of the role which the Crown said the applicant had played in facilitating the entry of those people. His Honour said it had also been said that the applicant had paid some hotel accommodation and travel and food expenses on behalf of Ahmed for which he had been reimbursed.
    20 Importantly, the learned Judge said that he had noted that the number of people on the relevant boat which was eventually apprehended at Ashmore Island, had been the thirdolargest group of people on a boat to that time and probably still to date, and that was a factor which he took into account.
    21 The applicant complained of that last remark. He said that he had not been responsible for the thirdolargest group of people on a boat to that time and he had specifically pleaded guilty on a different basis
    22 The learned Judge said there were no other offences which the applicant had committed which he had to take into account and that the relevant offence had not appeared to be part of a course of conduct on the applicant’s part, except insofar as he had continued to be the goobetween between the organiser and the passengers.
    23 The learned Judge said that he had noted that contrition had been shown by the applicant by his plea of guilty and by his coooperation with the authorities, “not only recently but also in the number of statements you gave to them at an earlier time”. He said he did not expect that the applicant would be likely to offend in this way in the future.
    24 The Judge noted that the applicant was 40 years of age and that he was married with six children, one of those having been born in Australia. His eldest son had attempted to commit suicide whilst in a detention centre in Victoria. He said
    that the applicant had a business background and had lived in Kuwait for 30 years until it had been invaded by Iraq in 1990. At that stage the applicant and his family had moved to Iran and remained there until 1999. Whilst in Kuwait the applicant had worked in the commercial field of selling land and houses and as a share broker. When he had gone to Iran, initially he lived off his savings and had then commenced religious studies in the city of Qom.
    25 In Iran he had been involved in the live sheep trade, but around 1998 he had become an object of interest to the Iranian intelligence authorities. He had been taken into custody. It had become clear that he was an Iraqi and that he was
    not a person who was welcome to remain in Iran. Apparently having been held in detention under some hardship for a period of time, the applicant had been released. He had then realised that he had to leave Iran. Whilst in Iran he had not been able to obtain education for his children. He could see no future for the family there. That was what had caused him to approach the person in Indonesia.
    26 The Judge said he had received letters from people who knew the applicant as a good man and a religious man and obviously a man who had the regard of other members of the community in which he had been involved.
    27 The Judge said that the applicant had received some information that he and his family could become residents of Australia under the refugee policy. However, he now knew that what he had been told was not true and that he had been misinformed. His Honour said that what would happen to the applicant in the future would have to await a decision of the Department of Immigration.
    28 His Honour said he was mindful of the fact that the applicant had a dependant wife and six children. The length of the family’s time in Australia would be at the discretion of the Minister and the department.
    29 The Judge said that in fixing a sentence he was mindful of the applicant’s plea of guilty and of the coooperation he had given to the authorities in the way which had been outlined, and concerning which, he had been informed on that morning. He believed, in fairness, that it was appropriate that an allowance should be given for the coooperation the applicant had given. His Honour noted that it had been submitted to him that because of the time the applicant had already spent in custody, he should not be required to spend any further time in custody.
    30 The Crown had submitted to the Judge that the applicant’s role as a facilitator had placed him in a role more blameworthy than the skipper and the crew, because he had been the goobetween between the organisers and the nonocitizens for a lengthy period of time, and not just involved, like the captain and the crew, for the duration of the journey. His Honour said he would not accept the Crown’s submission in that regard, but, having said that, he said he saw the applicant’s role as being no less blameworthy than that of the crew. The applicant had been the goobetween between
    the organisers and the nonocitizens. He had had the language skills to pass on messages and instructions to help the persons pay their money and to get to the boat. In addition to all of the matters his Honour had mentioned, he said he was
    mindful that the Court was required to impose sentences which might have the effect of deterring people who were minded to commit similar offences. In other words, that there was an aspect of general deterrence in any sentence for offences of this kind.
    31 The Judge set out the reasons for the present immigration policy. He said that he was prepared to give the applicant credit for his plea of guilty because, although he had initially pleaded not guilty, as soon as the indictment had been amended and the other charge had been dropped, and the relevant charge amended, the applicant had been prepared to plead guilty. Thus it was fair that he receive an appropriate discount. His Honour said that the starting point for the sentence was 7 years’ imprisonment and that a discount of 2 years would be given for the applicant’s early plea of guilty.
    32 The Judge said that on the previous Monday he had adjourned the sentencing hearing to enable the Crown to seek instructions in relation to coooperation by the applicant, of which the learned Judge had been informed that morning. In
    relation to the additional information he had received, he said he was prepared to offer a further discount of 1 year for that coooperation.
    33 His Honour said that the applicant must realise that “…if you fail to carry out your promise, you will be liable to serve the time” that he had given him credit for, concerning that coooperation. His Honour then reduced the sentence by a
    further year to allow for that future coooperation. That had the effect of reducing the initial starting sentence of 7 years’ imprisonment to one of 4 years’ imprisonment, which sentence was to date from 19 January 2001.
    34 The applicant complains of a number of matters, but there were two significant complaints which he made. The first was that, although the applicant had been given a discount of 2 years from the starting point of 7 years for his early plea of
    guilty and a further 1 year for his future coooperation, which he could lose if he did not coooperate as promised, he had been given no real discount for his coooperation from the start of his detention back in 1999, when he had given a number of statements to the authorities which could be described as coooperation by the applicant. I will not go into the details of those statements for obvious reasons, but it is apparent that the coooperation of the applicant from the start appears to
    have been comprehensive.
    35 The applicant also complained that he had been held in custody for approximately one year prior to 19 January 2001 when he had first been brought before a Court and from when the sentence was ordered to commence. He said he had made a full confession from the time he had first been apprehended on 1 November 1999. He said he could have been charged at that time. In that event his sentence would have been backdated by an extra year.
    36 Counsel for the applicant submitted that the applicant had not been part of the original organisation in Indonesia, but had “facilitated” in the way in which he had done in order to get to Australia with his family. Counsel noted that the learned Judge had said that the applicant’s role had been no less blameworthy than that of the crew. It had not been a purely commercial venture on his part. The crewmen on the boat had received a sentence of 4 years with a nonoparole period of 2 years, but they had not been given any additional benefit for coooperation.
    37 It was submitted for the applicant that he had coooperated from the time of his apprehension to the time of the sentence. In reality, he had been given no appropriate deduction for that early coooperation. The future coooperation was
    a separate matter, as provided for under the Act.
    38 It was submitted that the learned Judge, in his sentencing remarks, had accepted that the applicant had always coooperated with the authorities, not only for the future, but also in the number of statements he had given to them at an earlier time. It was submitted that the year discount had clearly been only for the future coooperation.
    39 The skipper of the boat received 7 years’ imprisonment with a nonoparole period of 3 years. The three adult crewmen were each sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment with a nonoparole period of 2 years. It was submitted for the applicant that the only discount allowed to the captain and the crew had been because they had pleaded guilty.
    40 It was argued for the applicant there was nothing in his antecedents unfavourable to him. It was contended that the Judge had erred in referring to the fact that the group of people on the boat were the thirdolargest group of people on a boat to that time “and probably still to date” and then taking that factor into account. It was pointed out that the applicant had not pleaded guilty, as had the captain of the boat, to facilitating the entry of 353 people into Australia. It was submitted that at the highest it could be said that the applicant had probably assisted in some way with about 110 to 120 people. He had not in any way encouraged people to come in the sense of going out and recruiting them. Rather he had “facilitated” them when he had been on the scene trying to get himself and his family to Australia.
    41 With respect to the question of delay, it was said for the applicant that he had made an initial statement on 5 November 1999 and then a second statement on 20 December 1999. Finally, he had given a comprehensive record of interview on 31 March 2000. That coooperation had not been recognised in the ultimate sentence. The statements had been made approximately a year before he was charged or even told he was going to be charged. It was submitted that, “…when one works out the percentages allowed for all the mitigating features, including the plea of guilty and past coooperation, it came to about 28 per cent.” There had been a plea of guilty at the first reasonable opportunity, plus considerable coooperation prior to the sentencing date. It was submitted that the coooperation had commenced almost as
    soon as the applicant had set foot on Australian shores. It had continued to the time of sentencing. The three statements to the prosecuting authorities had been significant, substantial and indicative of a high degree of remorse.
    42 It was further submitted that there had been an unexplained delay between the time the applicant had made a clean breast of his offence and when he was charged. If he had been charged earlier, he could have been convicted earlier and been serving a sentence dating back to when he was charged. Even if he had been charged by, say, 19 January 2000, he could have obtained a further year of backdating of the sentence.
    43 It was submitted that the applicant had always been prepared to plead guilty to what he had told the authorities which information had ultimately formed the basis of the acts of facilitation. He had made confessions at a very early stage and there had been enough information given by him for him to have been prosecuted.
    44 In R v Miceli (1997) 139 FLR 309 Tadgell JA, with whom Winneke P and Charles JA agreed, in a case where the applicant had pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s 29D of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) by claiming diesel fuel rights to which he was not entitled, said at page 312: “There was a year of unexplained delay between the time the applicant made a clean breast of it to the
    Commonwealth authorities and the time he was charged on summons. A subsequent delay of some further 14 months before he was dealt with may or may not have been attributable to the pressure of the County Court business but none of the 26 months’ delay, it must be said, was attributable to the applicant himself. He was entitled to have the delay overall taken into account in the determination of the disposition of his case and he was denied it. That is enough to entitle the applicant to have the sentence set aside and a fresh sentence imposed by this Court.”
    45 Having regard particularly to the approximate one years delay in charging the applicant, and also to his early coooperation with the authorities and willingness to confess to the offence, followed by his early plea of guilty, in my view, the applicant should have been given approximately an extra one year’s credit in the time which his Honour deducted from the 7oyear starting point.
    46 It was for those reasons that I agreed with the order of the Court reducing the head sentence from 4 years’ imprisonment to one of 3 years’ imprisonment with the consequent orders.
    47 MURRAY J: I have read the reasons for decision published by Wallwork and McKechnie JJ. They express sufficiently for me the reasons why I joined in the orders pronounced on 9 April. I have nothing to add.
    48 McKECHNIE J: On 9 April 2002, the Court granted the applicant leave to appeal and reduced his sentence to one of 3 years imprisonment.
    49 These are my reasons for joining in that order.
    50 The facts are set out in the judgment of Wallwork J.
    Cooperation and the plea of guilty
    51 Substantial cooperation must always be rewarded, not only because it is a matter of mitigation in the offender’s antecedents, but also to send a general message to others in a similar position that actual and extensive cooperation will be
    rewarded: Radebe v The Queen (2001) 162 FLR 313 at par 33 o 35.
    52 The Judge properly recognised the cooperation in the sentence he imposed. Furthermore, I consider the Judge took into account the early plea of guilty and made due allowance for it in selecting a term of imprisonment of 4 years.
    Delay
    53 There is only one area where, with respect, I consider the Judge erred.
    54 The appellant arrived illegally in Australia on 1 November 1999 and within a few days had admitted his role in the offence. He was further interviewed on 20 December 1999 and 31 March 2000.
    55 He was not charged until 19 January 2001. There was a preliminary hearing on 30 July 2001. On 5 October 2001 the appellant was arraigned and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced on 10 October 2001.
    56 No explanation was proffered as to the delay in laying the charge but there is no suggestion that the appellant caused or contributed to that delay.
    57 While the reasons for an extent of delay between offence and disposition will vary from case to case, an offender is entitled to have the delay considered: R v Todd (1982) 2 NSWLR 519 per Street CJ at 519 o 520; R v Shore (1992) 66 A
    Crim R 37 per BadgeryoParker J at 45; R v Miceli (1997) 139 FLR 309 per Tadgell J at 312; (1997) 94 A Crim R 327.
    58 In the present case, the delay had a special effect upon the appellant which was not sufficiently recognised in the sentence. The appellant was a person who was in detention, having entered Australia illegally. He remained in detention throughout the period between his confession and the charge. Had he been charged earlier, this time might have been served in custody rather than detention.
    59 Because of this special circumstance there was an error in failing explicitly to acknowledge the effect of the delay on the appellant.
    60 For this reason I joined in the order allowing the appeal, reducing the sentence to 3 years imprisonment and imposing
    a recognisance release order to be of good behaviour for 18 months to come into effect 18 months after 19 January 2001.

  12. Marilyn I truly struggle to see the same Australia that you see.

    The Australia that I see is struggling to take care of their own and many feel persecuted and yet you demand Australia have to look after other Countries peoples as well.

    What about each Country taking responsibility and looking after their own? Wouldn’t that be the best way to to it and wouldn’t that achieve the better outcomes for everyone.

    Whilst people keep running to better, economically stable countries, these poorer Countries are not going to get out of the situation that they are in.

    Poverty is created.

  13. Martin, read the transcript. He didn’t get charged or convicted with smuggling or organizing – he was jailed for translating. Where do you get this crap from.

    As to the most aggressive, what the hell are you on about now? If you are under attack, if you are being persecuted would you sit back and say “oh well, I will just stay here and be killed with everyone else.”?

    As for Kadem telling the ABC he didn’t want to be sent to a warzone, a country in which he had never lived in his life, whooo…. Better shoot him for that heinous crime, after all we had only tortured his kids and wife for over 4 years, locked them up and tormented them.

    Get a life Martin. Tell me, do you even care about those left behind? Have you ever said a word about the family members denied family reunion?

    Explain yourself instead of being so hateful to other people.

    Kadem was tricked, that is all.

  14. Jolanda, we had exactly 15,000 refugees on boats in 16 years. What poverty in Australia are you whining about?

    See the dead and dying in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney and Adelaide do we? The war zone in Perth. What are you talking about?

    If we cannot help a few of the desperate we are not a country worth being called a liberal and caring democracy but a rotten place that says “stuff you Jack, I am fine”.

    Fair dinkum Jolanda. It is not the fault of a few refugees here that the Aboriginal people are living in utter squalor – that is our faults. All of us ignore the truth of that appalling situation because of the racism inherently involved in it.

    Jolanda you are not a stupid woman. Look at the plight of the people in places like Afghanistan where 700 children die every single day of the week – then look at Australia where the problem is that 50% of the population have 96% of the wealth.

    I live on a disability pension but I don’t whine constantly about people who are even worse off than me. Think of yourself as the girl with no shoes, then look across the way at the girl with no feet.

    We have vast, enormous wealth in Australia – we have just become incredibly mean and mean spirited.

  15. The evidence indicates that Abdul Kadems role was more than a “mere translator”
    He was an active participant in the enterprises a “facilitator”
    The reduction in sentence had more to do with his cooperation with the crown.

    Get a pair of glasses Marilyn!
    I wasn’t saying they should like conditions in Baghdah
    I was highlighting how they changed their story when it appeared it might suit them better- or didn’t you (want) to notice.

    The Kadems and many like them were under no more threat than many of their peers.
    (As evidence by reporters finding them living in Baghdad many years after their return).
    The only difference is they were more cunning and sought to use the naivety of the system & bleeding hearts like you to their better their economic status.

    They were not running from persecution so much as seeking to better their position in the peeking order.

    Marilyn real compassion -real charity- does not come from giving away OTHER peoples money
    but from giving away YOUR OWN!!!

  16. Martin the amount of money for the new proposed changes to wharehouse refugees offshore, is a question you should take up with your local Federal member. It is a critical question and you would weep in you paypacket if the actual cost was ever disclosed.

    I note that Marilyn has posted the transcipt for the sentence appeal for Kadem and NOT the transcipt of the trial which would give greater insight into the situation for those in flight in Indonesia in 1999.

    martin the offence commonly referred to as ‘peoples smuggling’ is 232A of the Migration Act, and reads;

    MIGRATION ACT 1958 – SECT 232A
    Organising bringing groups of non-citizens into Australia

    A person who:

    (a) organises or facilitates the bringing or coming to Australia, or the entry or proposed entry into Australia, of a group of 5 or more people to whom subsection 42(1) applies; and

    (b) does so reckless as to whether the people had, or have, a lawful right to come to Australia;

    is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 20 years or 2,000 penalty units, or both.

    There are mandatory sentencing provisions associated with this offence which means there is no discretion available to sentencing judges to even provide a suspended sentence, regardless of the circumstances. The mandatory sentencing provisions have been highly criticised by the judiciary who ultimatly deal with these cases.

    Kadems conduct in translating, et al, and amongst other things, was seen to facilitate the arrival of more than 5 people without visas.

    Fact I would like to raise is that of the past 3 boats to arrive with 5 or more people without visas (that is a total of 103 people since 2001)has seen no convictions for the offence of ‘facilitating or organising’ sustained. In relation to the past 2 boats no charges have even been laid. Although during the days immedialty after the arrival of the 43 West papuans, the DIMIA media controller Sandi Logan,did publicly float the idea of charges being laid.

  17. Marilyn I think I will respond to your post one point at a time

    M: “Jolanda, we had exactly 15,000 refugees on boats in 16 years. What poverty in Australia are you whining about?”

    J:I am talking about the people in Australia that live below or at the poverty line. Like for instance many Aboriginal people!

    M: “See the dead and dying in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney and Adelaide do we? The war zone in Perth. What are you talking about?”

    J: We are not used to seeing dead and dying in the streets Marilyn, but you see lately, there seems to be more and more of the type of thing happening that produces the dead and dying and people are starting to become concerned and scared.

    M: “If we cannot help a few of the desperate we are not a country worth being called a liberal and caring democracy but a rotten place that says “stuff you Jack, I am fine””

    M: “Fair dinkum Jolanda. It is not the fault of a few refugees here that the Aboriginal people are living in utter squalor – that is our faults. All of us ignore the truth of that appalling situation because of the racism inherently involved in it”

    J: I really don’t know how to answer that Marilyn it truly is bizarre your way of somehow always included the refugees in ways that just doesn’t make sense.

    M: “Jolanda you are not a stupid woman. Look at the plight of the people in places like Afghanistan where 700 children die every single day of the week – then look at Australia where the problem is that 50% of the population have 96% of the wealth”.

    J: If you think that I am not a stupid woman Marilyn then you should consider what I say. All Countries and all people have to take responsibility to help to raise the standards in their own Country first and then for all. It’s not a good idea to push to drop the standards. You don’t lower the bar. The push should always be forward. It has to do with momentum. Otherwise you are going backwards and trust me going backwards is hardly ever fun or in anybodys best interest.

    M: I live on a disability pension but I don’t whine constantly about people who are even worse off than me. Think of yourself as the girl with no shoes, then look across the way at the girl with no feet.

    J: Marilyn what have you got to whine about? You fell ill and the Government (people’s taxes) are paying to support you. You spend your time attacking the Government that provides you with your livelihood because you want others from other countries to experience the same benefits as you. You think it is your right and you think it is theirs. My goodness your feelings of superiority appear to me heightened and intense.

    A girl that has no shoes needs a pair of shoes and a girl with no feet needs a wheelchair. You don’t tell the girl that has no shoes to suffer because there are those that have no feet and you don’t tell those that have no feet to suffer because there are those that have no legs. It’s not productive and its very unkind and unfair.

    M: We have vast, enormous wealth in Australia – we have just become incredibly mean and mean spirited.

    I have not become incredibly mean and mean spirited Marilyn, but I cant say that I feel the same way about you.

  18. Thank you Kaye, and of course there is the fact that refugees are allowed to come to Australia on boats. The man translated, that is all.

    He was not a people smuggler. There has never been any smuggling into Australia except for a few stow aways.

    Every boat that left Indonesia was watched by Australian officials, then they threw themselves at Australian officials.

    Kaye have you got the trial transcript? In case Martin is not aware of conditions in Indonesia – refugees were arrested and beaten, they were sent home.

    And Martin, the Kadem family had never lived in Iraq except for the wife until she was 4. Why on earth should they be sent there?

  19. i believe the scope of the definition for a ‘people smuggler’ contained in the legislation may have been left wide open to debate for the purpose of comrehensive convictions that suited the political staging of the day ( and legal argument it seems)

    Another bit of trivia for those who read here is the fact that the day the decision for Kadem was reported in the media in WA (where the matter was held) a death notice was posted for Oscar Schindler’s wife. A couple who did what they did in a vastly different time. They broke many laws of the day and yet they are appreciated, respected and thanked by survivors, their children and so on..(no Jolanda these people’s ancestors never hung around and wondered if their escape was responsible for ongoing atrocities related to their escape)

    Schindler in company with his wife were translater/organiser/scammer/swindler/ facilitator/ liar/con’er/ took money/paind money /organised…and luckily the SAS & section 232A of our act never got wind of ’em.

    Marilyn, I do not have Kadems trial transcipt but I have the transcript of another conviction for the same boat (‘Harapen Satu’) Kadem & his family came to Australia aboard.

  20. Martilyn, your own court transcript proves Martin’s point.

    6 The agreed acts of facilitation appear at page 159 of the appeal papers and are as follows:
    (1) On one occasion the applicant met a family of nonocitizens at the airport on their arrival in Indonesia and assisted to escort them from the airport to the hotel.
    (2) The applicant met nonocitizens at the hotel and translated and paid for them on behalf of Ahmed when they were threatened with eviction. He was later reimbursed.
    (3) The applicant negotiated for and collected money for nonocitizens on behalf of Ahmed.
    (4) The applicant interpreted between organisers and nonocitizens and acted as a goobetween when necessary.
    (5) The applicant interpreted for nonocitizens relating to travel on buses.
    (6) The applicant paid some hotel accommodation, travel and food expenses on behalf of Ahmed.

    That’s facilitating people smuggling, not “translation” as you claim. You appear to be incapable of any objective evaluation of evidence, as shown by your introduction of a lengthy quote that categorically disproves your own argument.

  21. beyond village fisherman that is crew (some under 18) of boats there are hardly NO Indo’s convicted of either organising or facilitating people smuggling here in Australia.

    The current Immigration Minister’s carry on about the West papuans is a load of bullocks.

    EP you say;
    The agreed acts of facilitation appear at page 159 of the appeal papers and are as follows:
    (1) On one occasion the applicant met a family of nonocitizens at the airport on their arrival in Indonesia and assisted to escort them from the airport to the hotel.

    What hotel?…..would that be the hotel organised by Ahemed the Indonesian ..why haven’t we nabbed him….?

    (2) The applicant met nonocitizens at the hotel and translated and paid for them on behalf of Ahmed when they were threatened with eviction. He was later reimbursed?

    I think the Australian court ruling was that he wasn’t reimbursed ?

    Okay he met a family of countrymen who were penniless and paid for them so they didn’t end up on the streets (I have done the same thing for a couple of Aussies in Tokyo once simply based on voice recognition…they were a young couple had no money an I chppped in)

    Amed knew there were people in his country he could manipulate..eHe had the ability to pay the corrupt police officers of Indo.

    (3) The applicant negotiated for and collected money for nonocitizens on behalf of Ahmed.

    Ahemed had him by the goulies as a non citzen whohad no legal staus in Indo…we now have 42 refugees with legal status asking for our help
    (4) The applicant interpreted between organisers and nonocitizens and acted as a goobetween when necessary.
    (5) The applicant interpreted for nonocitizens relating to travel on buses.
    (6) The applicant paid some hotel accommodation, travel and food expenses on behalf of Ahmed.

    Kadem for his part, pled guilty so there is no tanscript of trial to examine.

  22. For the benefit of Marilyn who asked:
    ” the Kadem family had never lived in Iraq except for the wife until she was 4. Why on earth should they be sent there?”
    I refer you to the Sydney Morning Herald issue of April 5 2004 in which a herald reporter visited the Kadem family now living in Baghdad-as well as the to be expected references to the war, there are a few gems:
    “Ali ( one of the sons) is enthusiastic about Baghdad, where his job at the cutting edge of the new Iraqi economy – in a one of hundreds of mobile phone shop that have sprung up since the war – is the family’s only source of income.For a young man who stitched up his mouth during a hunger strike and who slit his own throat after witnessing a suicide in detention, he seems remarkably well adjusted.”
    And
    “For now, life goes on. The family is split between the homes of two relatives and as Abdul Kadem tended to his new, unpaid duties as an imam at a suburban mosque this week, his wife, Ban, was back in the people-smuggling business.”
    Note well the last line about his wife Ban’s current activities.

    For the benefit of Kaye:
    Actually the people most responsible for the refugee “warehousing” are people like you and Marilyn whose antics have given the green light to every conman & bully to try and exploit the system.

    Further it is totally irrelevant whether Kadem helped to smuggle 5 or 5,000- the point was-HE WAS NOT THE SIMPLE REFUGEE HE PRETENDED TO BE !!!!!!
    And he was certainly no Schindler, Schindler what he did for humanitarianism –Kadem did what he did for money and or an elevated social/economic status. Schindler stood to lose everything and gain nothing .

  23. Martin you are deathly frigid in your critiques of a man who committed no crime, attacked no-one, did nothing wrong.

    Kadem didn’t get paid on cent – he was just a refugee and putting heaps of exclamation marks doesn’t change that.

    People don’t have to be simple to be refugees, in fact the department took over 3 years to even make a decision on the case while leaving a woman and 6 children in hell.

    The interview with Paul McGeough was terrific but you don’t seem to have even the vaguest hint of understanding for the trauma this family really suffered.

    In fact you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Not one “people smuggler” has ever been jailed in Australia.

    Jesus meeting a plane and visiting a hotel. Wow. Should have been sent to the firing squad.

    The transcript says he made no personal gain from anything – he was tricked into believing that Australia didn’t accept refugee claims and that he was a criminal for bringing his wife and children.

    Your fixated hatred serves no-one.

    Jolanda, you have totally lost the plot dear. This started out as a forum about refugees.

  24. Kaye, none of your points are relevant.

    The fact is that Kadem facilitated people smuggling, and was convicted in an Australian court for doing so.

    This alone is sufficient to demolish your and Marilyn’s arguments, and to prove Martin’s point.

  25. EP, translating in Indonesia is not a crime in Australia and has nothing to do with anything.

    The thing is this – what did the children do that they were locked up for 4.5 years, tormented and then dumped without legal papers in the middle of a warzone?

    There is nothing demolished about my argument. Translating is translating, not facilitating anything.

    For the record the people he so called facilitated for are here as refugees, permanent residents according to the record, 299 of them were Iraqis and only one family was deported.

    You need to decide what on earth you are on about. Compare bombing the hell out of nation – Iraq – killing tens of thousands of people and getting off scott free or translating for people escaping from the hell that was Iraq in 1999.

    if translating was a crime there would be no translators in the world.

    It also ignores the fact that Abu Quessy killed 353 people and only got 5 years in jail for it, he was never incarcerated or charged here – yet a man who helps people to claim refugee status goes to jail for years.

    That is deranged.

  26. EP the fact there had been no conviction was never argued by me.

    Martin, when you say “Actually the people most responsible for the refugee “warehousing” are people like you and Marilyn whose antics have given the green light to every conman & bully to try and exploit the system,” I immedialty thought you were referring to the con job of the Parliamentary proponents of the Govenment changes.

    I do not support the processing of asylums seekers and subsequently refugees in poor island countries by Australian nor on Christmas Island. The impact on those who have suffered as a direct result of that policy should be warning enough to the Government that is below Australian accepted standards of decency in the treatment of our fellow human beings.

    The proposed legislation will be announced through the bills digest and perhaps Andrew can give some specific time this will occur for those interested in the detail?

  27. Marilyn “if translating was a crime there would be no translators in the world.”

    Oh beautiful the logic is oevrwhelming – “If murder was a crime there would be no murderes in the world”

  28. Kaye

    The proposed legislation hasn’t been made public yet. I assume it will be soon after Parliament resumes next Tuesday. It isn’t listed for debate in the Senate next week (and nor should it be without adequate time to scrutinise it), so I would anticipate it would get to a short Senate Committee Inquiry before being brought on for debate and a vote when the Senate sits again in mid-June.

    I expect I’ll do some sort of post on this about the legislation once it appears.

  29. Ken,

    It still doesn’t make translating a crime. I don’t think translating for a few families to facilitate your own refugee status should be a crime anywhere, unlike murder. What about the murders committed every day now in Iraq where the situation is getting better not worse in spite of the Western forces present there? I guess we’ll get more refugees from there who will be kept out by the proposed law changes.

    Some of us would prefer to let in a few conmen in than leave women, children and other disadvantaged people in detention centres which harm everybody who is in them.

  30. I love how Amanda Vanstone came out and admitted frankly that the changes were aimed at appeasing the Indonesians, when the lying rodent had vehemently insisted the change was “not done as a concession to Indonesia”.

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