Where to now for refugees & the last 2 men on Nauru – Tuesday (pt ii)

During a break in the Committee hearing today, I managed to meet up with a group that works hard on finding viable solutions for refugees in all parts of the world. I was pleased to see that they had read the recently tabled Senate Committee report and its recommendations into changes that should be made to the way the Migration Act is administered. They also had some ideas about which ones were most important to pursue.

There is still ample evidence of widespread injustice and unnecessary suffering of refugees and asylum seekers at great economic and social cost. There is also growing public recognition of this. The big question is to determine what issues should be focused on next to bring about more immediate relief for those suffering acutely now, or to get more structural, long-term reform which is the only way we can get a fair and workable set of laws back in this areas.

The last 2 refugees still marooned on Nauru are a case in point. Only two people, when there are so many others who need help and so many new issues that need attention. However, those two are amongst the most isolated and marooned pair in the world. Rejected due to an ASIO security clearance, which neither they or anyone else has been told the substance or basis of. Normally if they were detained in Australia, at least they could get that assessment reviewed by an independent body, but Australia still refuses to provide that.

There are efforts being made to find another country who will take them, although it’s a bit hard to see much chance of success in ringing up a country and saying “Hi, we have two refugees that we can’t take because they’re security risks. Do you want them? No sorry, can’t tell you what the security risk is either.” As they have been assessed to be in serious danger in Iraq, sending them back there isn’t an option either.

But surely leaving them to rot on Nauru, with almost no support people now being provided to them, cannot be an option either?! You can read more details about them on this website which is dedicated to their plight. I have met these guys during my visits to Nauru. I can only imagine what they must be going through and how they will cope. This article in last weekend’s Age newspaper by Michael Gordon, the journalist who has given most time to the plight of the refugees transported to Nauru, tells a pretty clear picture of what they are facing.

Still plenty of work to do.

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81 Comments

  1. Geoff they weren’t smuggled into Australia and for the record most of the Afghans were validated within 50 days without anyone of them ever having papers. If the whole world knew Afghan and Iraqi refugees were catching boats to Australia and the people on the boats were handing themselves into the authorities as soon as they were found where does the smuggling start?

    It is perfectly legal to catch a boat to Australia to seek protection. What is it about this country so fixated on a tiny group of people when 5 million other people come to Australia every year and we as citizens don’t have a clue who any of them are?

    Here is a tip for the Afghans who were ID’d without papers – they were Hazara and shi’ite muslims and Hazara look Chinese compared to Pashtun rulers who look more Indian/Arab.

    Easy. Geoff you really need to get into the real world about his mate. Everything Ruddock said was a lie.

    Simple.

  2. Funny I could have sworn people were using people smugglers to get here. That bloody ABC and Four Corners have lied to me again.

    Please reference your fuigures from now on, otherwise I’ll just dismiss them as wrong, I’m sick of having to reference then refute them.

    As for Ruddock… puhlease marilyn, you may take hearsay as fact, you may quote anecdotal nonesnese, but I source my stuff from more than 1 person or organisation and I need factual corroberation before I’ll believe stuff.

  3. Geoff have you tried Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the courts system and reports? Do you think I just make up stuff as a fanciful whim?

    They are not people smugglers – it’s just that all the Australian media is utterly delusional and insist that they are. The court transcripts state “this is clearly not a people smuggling operation”.

    I will post one of the many if it makes you happy.

    THE SUPREME COURT OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY

    SCC 20100472, 20100473 and 20100481

    THE QUEEN

    and

    MUHAMAD, HARUDIN and TAHIR ALI

    SCC 20100988, 20100990 and 20101036

    THE QUEEN

    and

    ALIMIN OLIWULO, SULUNG ATOK and

    JON ADU

    (Sentence)

    BAILEY J

    TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS

    AT DARWIN ON FRIDAY 30 MARCH 2001 AT 2.07 PM

    Transcribed by:

    Court Recording Services (NT) Pty Ltd

    HIS HONOUR: Each of the six prisoners before the court has pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to section 232A of the Migration Act. There are two indictments before the court relating to two quite separate journeys involved two vessels that brought people to Australia on different dates during December 2000 and January 2001.

    The matters involving the two vessels are not connected, they were dealt with together at the request of counsel because both matters raised similar issues and because an interpreter skilled in English and Indonesian is required for each of the prisoners.

    Notwithstanding that approach each prisoner is to be sentenced as an individual and according to the particular circumstances applicable to him. The matters involving each of the two vessels were the subject of agreed and admitted facts. Those facts prepared by the Commonwealth Crown and agreed on behalf of each of the prisoner by Mr Read and marked as exhibits P1 in respect of the relevant proceedings against each of the prisoners.

    I will incorporate exhibit P1, which are separate documents concerning the two vessels, as annexures to these reasons. I find the facts set out in exhibit P1 proved and I convict each of the six prisoners of an offence contrary to section 232A of the Migration Act as set out in the relevant indictment.

    I will not recite the agreed facts for the present purposes. It is sufficient to provide brief reference to those facts. I will also refer to some additional information provided by Mr Read and which was not contested by the Commonwealth Crown. I find such additional information proved for present purposes unless otherwise indicated.

    The prisoners Muhamad, Harudin and Tahir Ali arrived in Australia on 30 December 2000, on board the vessel Fajar Baru. The vessel carried 177 passengers. All of were non-citizens. The vessel was overcrowded and conditions poor.

    For the prisoners Alimin Oliwulo, Sulung Atok and Jon Adu arrived in Australia on 15 January 2001, on board the vessel Wolio Kampoku. The vessel carried 148 passengers, all of whom were non-citizens. The Customs officers who intercepted the vessel described it as overcrowded and listing from side to side. The passengers described it as unsafe and lacking adequate toilet facilities and food supplies.

    The captain and crew of the Fajar Baru were approached and offered money to bring people to Australia. The captain and crew of the Wolio Kampoku each suggests that they were approached to take people initially to Bali but none took any action when it became clear that Australia was to be their destination.

    Although the crew of each of the two vessels was warned of the consequences of proceeding to Australia, they did so. The practice of providing such a warning is both sensible and fair. However, in many circumstances it will not provide with a realistic opportunity to desist from continuing their journey to Ashmore Reef.

    In cases such as those presently before me, the attitude of the passengers on the vessel effectively precludes any attempt to return to Indonesia. The passengers are people who have endured a great deal to get to Australia and they are unlikely to agree to return to Indonesia in the face of a warning directed to the crew. The crew is usually outnumbered by the passengers. That was the case in these two cases before me.

    The motivation of all six prisoners in committing the offences was financial gain. The money offered in each case was substantial by the standards of the prisoners, each acting out of something approaching desperation to provide financial support for their dependants or families.

    Each of the prisoners has co-operated with the authorities. Each has pleaded guilty at the first reasonable available opportunity. Each is entitled to considerable credit for their co-operation and early pleas of guilty. Their actions have saved very considerable inconvenience and expense by avoiding the need for trials. I accept that each of the prisoners is entitled to the full credit for his co-operation and early plea, notwithstanding the apparent strength of the Crown case against each.

    I turn now to consider the individual circumstances of the prisoners. There is much in common between them. Each is poorly educated and struggling to support a family in the widely acknowledged poor state of Indonesia’s economy. None has convictions in Australia, aside from the prisoner Jon Adu. It is not suggested that any of the prisoners had a criminal record in Australia.

    On 7 April 2000, Jon Adu was convicted of an offence contrary to the Migration Act, involving the bringing to Australia of 62 non-citizens. At that time he was a juvenile and received a sentence of 6 months imprisonment, fully suspended for a period of 5 years. Proceedings for breach of that sentence are before another court. Adu is still a very young man, his usual occupation is a fisherman. He tries to support his younger brothers of age 11 and 14. He does not know who will care for them in his absence.

    His fellow crew member, Sulung Atok claims to be 24 years old. Mr Read’s instructions are that this prisoner has a tragic background. He comes from a village near the border of East and West Timor. Both his parents and his brother were killed in the 1999 Timor riots and the prisoner struggles to support his three younger brothers and sister, in addition to his wife and two children.

    The captain of the vessel Wolio Kampoku was Alimin Oliwulo who is said to be 38. He is usually a subsistence fisherman from a small island near Flores. He occasionally fishes from a larger vessel, diving for sea cucumbers. He lives with his parents, his wife and three children. His father has been disabled since 1979 and his wish is to have his children receive the education that he never did.

    The captain of the Fajar Baru was Muhamad. He claims to be around 20, he lives with his parents and two younger sisters. He has never been to school and he tries to pick up labouring work to support the family. His mother is said to need hospital treatment and he was tempted to commit the present offence to obtain money particularly for that purpose.

    Harudin is around 40 years old. He is married with three daughters and two sons. He survives as a subsistence fisherman, selling surplus fish when catches are good. He is said to have debts of about half a million rupiah and was driven to commit the offence to support his family.

    Tahir Ali is said to be 18 years old. He is from a village on Roti. He lives with his mother, earning money again as a subsistence fisherman. His father is deceased and his stepfather effectively abandoned his mother.

    It is clear that the family circumstances and the motivation for offending by the six prisoners is similar. There is some disparity as to the number of non-citizens aboard the two vessels, namely 148 in one case and 177 in the other. The difference is not such as to merit any distinction in sentencing. Clearly both the present cases involve a very substantial number of non-citizens.

    There are also differences in ages between the prisoners. I have commented before in offences of the present nature, that I do not consider that youth, other than extreme youth which is not relevant here, is a strong mitigating factor, particularly where a prisoner is not an Australian citizen or resident.

    Rehabilitation of young offenders and offenders generally does not have the same priority in relation to foreign residents, as it has in relation to those who live in Australia. On the other hand, the status of the prisoners Harudin and Alimin Oliwulo as captains of their vessels, calls for some recognition of their greater culpability in undertaking the voyage, compared with crew members.

    There can be little doubt that the offences to which the prisoners have pleaded guilty are both serious and prevalent. In 1999, the Federal Parliament amended the Migration Act and created a new offence under section 232A to which the prisoners have pleaded guilty. That new offence substantially increased available penalties for conduct of the present kind. The increase is now being reflected in penalties imposed by the courts.

    General deterrence must play an important role in determining sentences in the present circumstances. A clear message must be sent to those who are minded to engage in bringing non-citizens to this country, that they can expect to face a very substantial penalty.

    It is not difficult to understand why offences such as the present are treated very seriously indeed. The potential risks of unlawful entry of non-citizens to the people of Australia are obvious and significant. Very substantial resources are also required to deal with persons who seek to or succeed in entering this country unlawfully.

    I am satisfied the situation is such that general deterrence must at least, for the present, be given greater emphasis than other sentencing objectives, such as rehabilitation.

    In imposing sentence, I am required by the Commonwealth Crimes Act to determine a sentence of a severity appropriate in all the circumstances of the offence. Section 16A of the Crimes Act requires me to consider a range of specified matters and I have done so. I am also required to consider alternatives to imprisonment and not to impose a sentence of imprisonment unless satisfied that no other sentence is appropriate in all the relevant circumstances.

    In relation to the present offences, I am satisfied that a substantial term of imprisonment is the only appropriate sentence in all of the circumstances. No other option would meet the needs of the case to both punish the prisoners and to send a clear message to others who might be minded to commit similar offences.

    Section 16G of the Crimes Act is relevant in the present circumstances. Section 16G provides that where a Federal sentence is to be served in a Territory prison and is accordingly not subject to remission or reduction, the court must take that fact into account in determining the length of sentence and must adjust the length of the sentence accordingly.

    In the Northern Territory, prior to the abolition of remissions, the customary reduction in a prisoner’s sentence for remission was one-third of the total sentence. I have taken the abolition of remissions into account and I will reduce the term of imprisonment which I would otherwise have imposed, by around one-third.

    In determining appropriate sentences, I have kept very much in mind that the present offences are by no means in the most serious category of offences contrary to section 232A. In particular these are not cases of people smuggling where it is intended to introduce non-citizens into this country secretly and with all the dangers of illegal entrance carrying diseases, plant or animal life which proposes serious risk to Australia’s primary production.

    There was no attempt here by the prisoners to hide from the authorities or disguise what they were doing. The offences, whilst serious are correctly described as people trafficking offences rather than people smuggling. Similarly, it is significant that none of the prisoners is an organiser, each played a small but vital role in bringing non-citizens here.

    The penalty is that or near maximum – the maximum should be reserved for those who bear responsibility for organising the entry of non-citizens to Australia, in particular maximum penalties should be reserved for cases where it is thought to introduce non-citizens secretly.

    I come now to sentence each of the prisoners. In the case of Muhamad, Tahir Ali and Sulung Atok, each of the three is sentenced to imprisonment for 3 years and 6 months. I direct that each be released after serving a period of 1 year and 9 months. The release will be upon giving security by a personal recognizance in the sum of $500 that he will be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years.

    The period of imprisonment and the pre-release period in the case of Muhamad and Tahir Ali will date from 30 December 2000 and in the case of Sulung Atok from 15 January 2001.

    The two captains of the vessels, Harudin and Alimin Oliwulo are sentenced to imprisonment for 4 years each. I direct that each be released after serving 2 years. Each release will be upon giving security by personal recognizance in the sum of $500 and that he will be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years.

    In the case of Harudin, his period of imprisonment and pre-release period will date from 30 December 2000. And in the case of Oliwulo the sentence and pre-release period will date from 15 January 2001.

    In the case of Adu, I have considered whether as a person with a previous conviction or offending of a similar nature, his sentence should be more than his fellow crew members because he is not entitled to full credit of a man with a clear record. In the circumstances, because of his earlier conviction was as a juvenile, I have decided not to distinguish him from Sulung Atok.

    Accordingly, Adu is sentenced to imprisonment for 3 years and 6 months. I order that he be released after 1 year and 9 months and his release is to be upon giving security by way of a personal recognizance in the sum of $500 and that he will be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years. In his case the sentence and pre-release period is backdated to 15 January 2001.

    I note that I did consider whether Sulung Atok should receive a lighter sentence, essentially based on his recent tragic past history. I have come to the conclusion that despite the tragedy of losing his parents and his brother, the desperation which drove him to commit the offence is in reality a little different from the situation of his fellow prisoners.

    Each of these prisoners was driven to offend by their circumstances, their individual desperation is a matter of degree. However the objective of general deterrence must be the dominant consideration in offences such as the present.

    The Crimes Act requires me to cause to be explained the sentences I have imposed on each of the prisoners. My reasons for sentence have been translated to the prisoners. However I do request that Mr Read, with the assistance of Madam Interpreter, ensure that the prisoner understands what has occurred, the sentence imposed, the release order I have made and the conditions attached to that release order.

    It is important that each prisoner understands that if after their release from prison, if there is any breach of the release order, the prisoner may be brought back to this court to be dealt with. In such circumstances and in particular if any prisoner is found to have re-offended in a similar way, the court would have the power to require them to serve the outstanding balance of their sentence of imprisonment.

    The Commonwealth Crown has made applications to forfeit monies found in the possession of some of the prisoners. The applications have not been opposed and I will make orders in terms of the Crowns applications, being satisfied that the monies are tainted monies in terms of the Proceeds of Crimes Act.

    The orders are in the case of Harudin: that under section 19 of the proceeds of Crimes Act the sum of 894,000 Indonesian rupiah is forfeited to the Commonwealth Crown. In the case of Tahir Ali: the sum of 344,600 rupiah, together with $US103 and 100 Afghanis is forfeited to the Crown under section 19 of the Proceeds of Crimes Act and also in the case of Muhamad: 476,000 Indonesian rupiah and $US116 is forfeited to the Commonwealth again under section 19 of the Proceeds of Crimes Act.

    Back to sievx.com

  4. “Geoff have you tried Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the courts system and reports? Do you think I just make up stuff as a fanciful whim?”

    Usually.

    I asked for you to back up the 500,00 figure marilyn. I’m still waiting. No use trying to bury it under the weight of huge transcripts…

    As for the rest…
    “It is not difficult to understand why offences such as the present are treated very seriously indeed. The potential risks of unlawful entry of non-citizens to the people of Australia are obvious and significant. Very substantial resources are also required to deal with persons who seek to or succeed in entering this country unlawfully. ”

    note the words… offences, unlawful entry, non-citizens. They take money from people and endanger their lives, yet still you say they aren’t people smugglers. :roll:

  5. Didn’t you read the bit where it says that “this is clearly not a people smuggling operation. “Unlawful” is not a legal word in Australian law – in fact it is a definition that is legally meaningless. According to the Australian Solicitor General and 7 of the High Court judges who ordered it to cease being used by drafters of the law.

    As for “reckless of the right to enter” well in fact they do have a right to enter under Australian law as we have just seen with the West Papuans.

    And you seem to have missed the bit about they handed themselves to the authorities. Do I have to get Vanstone’s views of this for you?

    5,000,000 people came to Australia last year. Is that a problem Geoff or have you fogotten to read the DIMA site lately? They are quite proud of it. They just forget to tell you that almost all of them get their entry visas on the internet which means every known terrorist on earth could simply change their names and fly to Australia.

    I don’t know about you but I think getting visas on the internet is a wee bit dangerous.

    I think you will also find that a great deal of the propoganda peddled by the government is peddled in the notion that it costs the Australian public a great deal – the thing is it only cost a great deal because we insisted on wasting everyone’s time and money locking up innocent people.

    By the way, you will note the sentence for the 2nd boat – some of the refugees on that boat were locked up for 5 years and never had a trial, charge or sentence.

    Why is that do you think?

  6. You implied there were 5,000,000 illegal entries marilyn.
    You implied this by saying we didn’t know who they were.
    In fact they have been identified on entry and some even before arrival.

  7. re blog 51
    marilyn if a person arives in jakarta,is transported to the south coast,is placed on a boat that is unseaworthy with not enough fuel to get to christmas island.sets out to sea then is picked up by a ship whitch tackes on board all the mothers and children then puts the small boat with the men in tow to just over the horizen off christmas island. then lets them go under there own steam on arival at the island lease ppl know there rites. and start to demand them .while wearing p&o tea shirts and carring p&o bags.

    dont tell me that is not organized ppl smuggling
    remember the tamper episode they got caught out because the smugglers boat sunk under tow.

    anyway i wish you well with your crusade but you realy need to get a bit more first hand infomation.

    learn to read that which is not writen the truth is there you only need to look.

  8. kaye
    i cant acuse any one of anything .but why didnt the tampa put the ppl off at the nearest port which was in indon.why go well out of there way and cost the company a lot of money to go to christmas island.knowing the trouble they were in for.this is only my opinion.

  9. Geoff I have a particular interest in community understanding of the offence and the application of the offence commonly known as ‘people smuggling’.

    One of the most stangest/bizarre cases I have come acress concerns a refugee who was skilled enough to fix a brocken motor on a boat which saved the lives of himself, other refugees and the captain and crew.

    For his efforts he was charged and subsequently convicted of the offence (232A Migration Act).

    As I have read yours and red crab’s posts I have differing views however I am intersted in opposing views and how they are arrived at.

  10. re 63 .
    kaye its good to know that there is others that like to hear differing points of view.
    would you not think that it is posible that a person male or female .that can escape their situation whatever it mite be.then find there way half way around the world.then have the courage to board a leaky boat and traverce a very dangerouse sea.looking for a dot in the ocean.dose not have the talent or the will to fix a motor.

    so why dose a person that has that type of talant
    need to get into this country through the back door
    id like to hear what your opinion is

  11. Kaye. That is unbelievable. To me, and of course this is just my opinion and I am no expert, I believe that his defence should have been that if he didnt’ fix the engine that the people on the boat could very well have died.

    At that point he had an obligation and responsibility to fix the engine or risk humans perishing. How can it be referred to as a serious crime?

    Why were they only focusing on the Political side, why didn’t the human factor come into play?

    Its just ridiculous and to think of the money the Government spent doing this to this man and on this case. Money that could have gone towards helping Aboriginal people with their housing situation.

    Such a shame and such a waste of taxpayers money.

  12. kaye mabe you read that document different to me.at no point was it proved that he was not the boats engineer.its only his word.and why was he not made to pay before he got onto the boat.

  13. Red Crab
    The Crown conceded that he was a passenger who fixed the engine so the people on the boat would not perish at sea.

    There was no dispute about him being a ‘ships engineer’.

    On arrival he was charged with people smuggling, because he fixed the motor, despite the legislature when introducing this offence and making the new law, had no intent to prosecute in these types of circumstances.
    You can read the hansard here;
    http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/migration/submissions/sub169att_a.pdf

    Australia accepted that he was a refugee in need of protection.

    That is because there is provision in our law to accept asylum applications for those in Australia no matter which ‘door’ they came here through.

    Australia then proceeded to block the granting of a protection visa on the basis that he had a criminal conviction for people smuggling.

    The administrative appeals tribunal overturned the decision on the basis that the crime was not serious enough warrant or construct this barrier.

    I have spoken with quite a few people who came on boats and the credit system employed by the real people smugglers who in the large have never been caught saw many arrive without an up front transaction.
    Anyway I don’t think there are too may people faced with the same circumstances that would not do anything in their power to preserve their life…basic human instinct of self preservation.

    Jolanda the ‘defense of necessity’ that was later introduced into criminal law now can be used in these types of circumstances.

    I think this case demonstrates Australia’s misapplication of laws and the level of resitance to refugees in the extreme.

    The cost factor is irrelevent to the Government however they do not spend much time informing the public of how much has been wasted in such matters. facts and costs laid bare would not endear many to the policies in practice.

    If we get back to the topic of this discussion about the 2 men on Nauru the cost would blow your socks off if the Gov ever realed the real cost to us. The 2 men haven’t even had the reasons they are deemed a security risk afforded them so they can defend these accusations.

    All of this is very much outside of the ‘rule of law’ which is the cornerstone of our legal system. wether we like it or not this misconduct affects each and every one of us, you me redcrab and geoff and marlilyn regardless of whether we support refugees or not.

  14. kaye its obviouse you are a lot more knolagable on this subject than me .as to the two men on nauru i think if it was not for the do gooders and lawyers making there fortune by keeping them there and arguing for them. the govt would have sent them back long ago .
    question? is it a fact or not that at any time an asylem seeker can ask to be sent back and the govt will send them back.

  15. couple of points I’d like to make are
    1) I have been labeled a ‘do gooder’ at times and at other times I have been called a ‘hard arsed bitch’.
    2) there is no real money to be made representing refugees and for a large part this work is done on a pro bono basis. I know plenty of lawyers who have made a big loss in income by involving themselves in migration law when they could be rolling in dough doing corporate work.

    On the matter of ‘going back’ there are some people who are simply stateless or their country of origin won’t have them back and that’s where the policy of mandatory detention can see people locked up indefinately…even if they were to pass health and medical checks. The Commonwealth Ombdusman reviews post Alvarez and Rau have seen some released after many years, most recently Mr X which will save Australia zillions.
    You can read about many of the cases here and I highly recommend you do.
    http://www.comb.gov.au/
    There were lot’s of barriers interferance and delays in the processing of these people some you can read about here.
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17733009%5E2702,00.html

    Some other cases are entirely different.

    I had a public debate with the PM once over a baby who’s parents had spent 2 years in detention. The PM’s line was ‘they can always go back’
    You can read it here: Baby’s parents illegals, says PM – Immigration – Features – In Depth

    As it turned out the week after the PM called them illegal they were found to be refugees and I asked him to apologise, which he didn’t.
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/Immigration/Babys-parents-illegals-says-PM/2005/05/26/1116950821747.html

    These people simply couldn’t go back and tragically part of the reason was because Australian authoriies had blown thier cover (and Vietnam did’t want them becuase they were agitating for democracy)

    Forcing people back is a real problem for Australia however it has been wrongfully done before (see Alvarez story)

    Deporting people to Danger has been covered by the Edmund Rice Centre and you should getread that to get a clear picture of what happens in those circumstances.

  16. re kaye
    I have been labeled a ‘do gooder’ at times and at other times I have been called a ‘hard arsed bitch’.
    you and i would have some fantastc debates.

    but a simple question only requires a simple answer.!
    question? is it a fact or not that at any time an asylem seeker can ask to be sent back and the govt will send them back.
    yes or no?

  17. yep an asylum seeker can ask to go back, .. simple fact…I know of a couple of young blokes who did just that a while ago at 1am in the morning, after about 18 months in detention.

    They had spent countless hours listening to the private guard who spent hours keeping himself awake (and them) on nightshift baosting about the high court judgement that gave authority to indefinate detention.

    They explained their decision to me saying for their role as dissidents seeking democracy in their home country, they may not recieve the death penalty (that is by firing squad with a lemon stuffed in your gob to stop you from screaming) that their conduct could attract.

    They made a judgement call that they may in fact only be beaten and imprisoned for about 20 years and released with no right to work. The repatriation option seemed a better option to the men in their early 20’s, than being locked up for the rest of their lives in Australia listening to the guard rejoicing at the long term job security the High Court decision had afforded him.

  18. redcrab, I missed a key point in the case of these 2 young men…their country would not take them back so this answers the 2nd part of your question, ‘the govt will send them back.’

  19. red crab you should also know that at the same time our Government was waiting for the green light that never came, from the authorities in the home country of the 2 young men, the unelected leader of that country was hosted by us on a visit to Australia.

    During a joint media conference held with our leader and their leader a question was asked by an Australian jounalist about what discussions had taken place (other than trade, trade, trade) in relation to substantial evidence of human rights abuse occuring in the visiting leaders country.

    Our leader said none and closed the conference.

  20. Kaye,
    I do not know this case so could you please tell me what became of these 2 men.

    Are they now deemed stateless?
    Are they still in detention?
    Did they know at the time of seeking repatriation that they would not be accepted by their country of origin?
    If yes, was this a gambit to bring their case into prominence (which I guess would be understandable)?

  21. The Immigration Minister granted them temporary humanitarian visas after 2 years.

    I believe lot of digging into the corrupted processing of their calims was a major factor in that Ministerial decision.

    I recall at the time the Minister said on radio, ‘that these people are the same as the ones they came with’ who in some cases were close relatives and or members of the same pro democracy actions who had bee granted visas 18 months earlier.

  22. all i asked for kaye was a yes or no answer there is no doutb that there could be some pressure aplyed to some.
    it would be very interesting to know the real truth about the history of some of the so called assylem seekers that have been let into australia.
    a relitive works in a doctors surgery if you knew what was realy gowing on with thease ppl after they are settled here your opinion would change. MINE HAS.
    another friend works for an employment agency trying to find work for a person on temp visa .
    this person has boasted about how manny ppl he has killed in his home country !!

    there is no doubt there are a lot of deserving ppl who need our help which i an totally in agreeance of
    but how do you seperate those from the ones that are just looking for another opitunity.

    you really need to do some follow up on what some of these ppl are up to now. there is no doubt that some are a real asset to australia but there are some that are becoming a serious ( SOCIAL ) problem .

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