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Last Updated: Friday 30 August 2019

Deportation of Tamil asylum seeker family interrupted midair by last-minute injunction

30 August 2019

Peter Dutton says family of four are ‘not owed protection’ after they were removed from deportation flight in Darwin thanks to court injunction

A Tamil family due to be deported overnight have been granted an interim injunction to prevent their transportation back to Sri Lanka, their lawyer has told the ABC.

The injunction was granted over the phone by a judge, and a hearing has been listed for 10:00am today before Judge Riley in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Melbourne.

Read the full article here.

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Medevac: AMA speaks out against repeal & urges bipartisan fix

22 August 2019

Australian Medical Association criticises lack of resources for medevac expert panel

The Australian Medical Association has criticised the lack of resourcing for the medevac expert panel and said it must be fixed by bipartisanship on medical transfers from offshore detention.

The call came in a submission by the AMA to the Senate inquiry examining the Coalition’s bill to repeal the legislation, which gives clinicians a greater say in the medical transfers of asylum seekers.

A number of other medical and refugee groups – including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – are also urging against the proposed repeal.

Read the full article here.

Fears for 52 refugees being held incommunicado in Australian detention centre in Port Moresby

21 August 2019

There are growing fears for the welfare of the 52 Manus refugees who have been held incommunicado in the Bomana detention centre for the last eight days

The 52 were taken from their accommodation in Port Moresby in the early hours of Monday 12 August. Nothing has been heard from them since.

“We are growing increasingly concerned for their welfare,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The families of the detained men have not heard from them. They have not contacted anyone. All our attempts to gain information or contact them through PNG Immigration, or the contracted security firm Controlled Outcomes, has come to nothing.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Read the full article here.

Abandoning medevac would be 'disastrous', former home affairs official says
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19 August 2019

Australia’s overall deterrence regime ‘need not rely on a logic of cruelty in order to be effective’, Shaun Hans says

An official from the Department of Home Affairs who quit his job in the refugee processing area to argue publicly for an overhaul of Australia’s border protection regime has warned abandoning the medevac procedures would be “disastrous”.

Shaun Hanns, a home affairs departmental official until last October, has used a submission to a Senate inquiry into the medevac repeal to implore senators to persist with the current medical evacuations system as “the first step in an attempt to reform the system so that it is not only effective but as humane as possible whilst maintaining that effectiveness”.

Hanns said the medevac procedures actively demonstrate that Australia’s overall deterrence regime “need not rely on a logic of cruelty in order to be effective” – which is a break through in policy development in border protection that should not be lightly discarded.

Read the full article here.

15 August 2019

Australian author Thomas Keneally has issued a damning assessment of the Australian government's immigration policy.

The man who wrote the book Schindler's Ark, which inspired hit film Schindler's List, says the Coalition's asylum seeker policies echo the lead-up to the Holocaust.

Speaking at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Wednesday night, Australian author Thomas Keneally delivered a scathing indictment of the Morrison government and a call to arms for better treatment of asylum seekers globally.

Read the full article here.

Schindler's List author compares Australia's asylum seeker policy to Holocaust lead-up
Asylum seekers moved to a prison complex in PNG
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12 August 2019

The men were being moved to the Bomana Immigration Centre, a detention facility annexed to the Bomana prison in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s immigration department has moved dozens of asylum seekers to a Port Moresby prison complex.

The men, who have all been deemed non-refugees, were being moved on Monday to the Bomana Immigration Centre, a detention facility annexed to the Bomana prison.

A letter from the PNG immigration and citizenship authority (ICA) informed the men of the transfer and ordered them to surrender their mobile phone, any medication, and to pack up their personal property.

Read the full article here.

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Behrouz Boochani wins National Biography award – and accepts via WhatsApp from Manus

12 August 2019

Judges call Kurdish Iranian writer and refugee’s memoir an ‘astonishing act of witness’

The Kurdish Iranian writer Behrouz Boochani has continued his sweep of the Australian literary prize landscape, winning the $25,000 National Biography award on Monday – yet another award the refugee was unable to accept in person, as he enters his sixth year of detention on Manus Island.

Boochani’s autobiography No Friend but the Mountains tells of his journey from Indonesia to Australia by boat, and his subsequent imprisonment on Manus Island by the Australian government, which continues to refuse him entry.

Read the full article here.

Gillian Triggs says 'vindictive point-scoring' behind Coalition's medevac repeal
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11 August 2019

New UN assistant high commissioner for protection urges Scott Morrison to use political mandate for more humane refugee policy

The Coalition government’s campaign against the refugee medical evacuation laws is based on “mistruths” and “vindictive point-scoring”, the former president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, says.

On Friday Triggs was appointed United Nations assistant high commissioner for protection, working with the UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi.

Grandi said Triggs would bring “extensive expertise, knowledge and vast experience in international refugee protection” to the role.

Read the full article here.

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Visa character test change 'could mean fivefold rise in deportations'

6 August 2019

Residents from New Zealand and refugees to be affected by what experts say could be largest ever expansion of test

The Coalition is being warned that a renewed push to tighten the character test for visa holders could see a fivefold increase in the number of people facing deportation, with residents from New Zealand and humanitarian refugees disproportionately affected.

The Morrison government has reintroduced a bill to change the Migration Act to provide grounds for visa cancellation or refusal where a non-citizen has been convicted of a serious crime punishable by two years imprisonment, even if a jail term is not imposed.

Read the full article here.

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