World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Campaigning over DIMIA broken promises begins

Furious refugee advocates start campaigning over DIMIA broken promises

Refugee advocates around Australia, including renowned Canberra-based migration agent Marion Lê OAM, are furious about what looks like deliberate stalling of refugee assessment outcomes for Afghanis in the Baxter detention centre by the Department of Immigration, DIMIA.

They have also vowed to start on a six-week campaign of pressure on sitting members of government, including targeting of marginal seats, in the lead-up to the election on October 9.

The refugee assessments were triggered by renewed commitment by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, as a result of updated UNHCR country information on Christmas eve 2003 - resulting in re-assessment of many Afghani cases on Nauru, and subsequent granting of refugee status of more than 150 asylum seekers from the island.

Immediately agents such as Marion Lê also started reformulating case file information of many Afghani's who are residents of the Baxter detention centre.

Review interviews were held in the last week of July this year, and the case officers were told to present the results on the Ministers' desk within one week - but up till today no results have been received by the Ministers office.

Project SafeCom's Jack Smit suspects that DIMIA is trying to postpone the becoming public of its appalling record of errors in assessments, where they have "blamed" many asylum seekers for being Pakistani, while the facts now confirm that many of them are genuine former residents of Afghanistan. "The best known case where it will only become more and more clear that DIMIA has seriously erred in its nationality assessments, causing untold grief, is the case of the Bahktiari family. Of course DIMIA wants to hide this", Mr Smit said.

According to Jane Keogh, as many as "seventy Afghanis, nine Iranians and many others waiting in detention" are affected by this seeming deliberate stalling by DIMIA.

Ms Keogh reported today: "The potential for despair and desperate action in the detention centres in the coming six weeks was almost tangible last night in Baxter. The Afghanis have moved from the hope of the past to deep despair last night."

"I talked to some last night in Baxter and they told me 'We are going to do something. We had hope now since our interview but now nothing. This was our last chance.' "

"I encouraged them not to do anything foolish but to leave the action to their supporters outside. If no response comes soon the Afghanis may not get their visas at all or at best will have to wait months in despair."

According to Ms Keogh, there are 10 or Iranians also waiting to have cases finalised that were reopened months ago. Countless others, families and individuals wait on results of 417 and 48B applications.

"Marion Lê has promised to kick off this campaign this week. People are already outraged by the government's lies about 'children overboard' and the outrage about broken promises to those still in detention promises to spread even further the shadow over the government's election campaign calling for our trust. The media is interested in Marion's response and she is willing to travel interstate to speak and hold media sessions if the promises are not met."

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news