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Australian MP Lashes Govt's Immigration Detention


Australian MP Lashes His Govt Over Immigration Detention

Cunningham MP Michael Organ has told the House of Representatives the harrowing story of an asylum seeker who has already spent more than five years in immigration detention and who the Government is determined to keep there.

"I received a letter from Baxter detainee Muhammad Qasim last month and today I spoke to him by phone just before I addressed the House on the Migration Legislation Amendment (Duration of Detention) Bill - a law the Government wants to keep people in detention indefinitely." Mr. Organ said.

"He's been held in every detention centre in Australia except Villawood for the last five years and five months."

"He told me that he just wants to get out of detention and had asked to be repatriated - somewhere, anywhere - some 8 months ago, but still he remains in detention, in prison, thanks to this inhumane government."

"During 2003, there were 7 people in Australia convicted of murder who received terms of between 5-10 years, 367 people convicted of assault, and 818 convicted of sexual assault who received similar sentences of imprisonment.

Mr Qasim hasn't been found guilty of murder or rape yet his sentence has been 5 years and 5 months."

"His crime - to come to Australia in search of asylum, an action which is not illegal under Australian or international law."

"This is nothing less than disgraceful and nothing, I repeat nothing, any Minister or member of the government says, can change this". Mr. Organ said.


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