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Australia:Refugees Found To Be Wrongfully Detained

Advocates Discover 33 People Wrongfully Detained

"The discovery by refugee advocates that in just the last year 33 not unlawful persons have been wrongfully detained adds to a plethora of reasons for why there will be a convergence on Baxter at Easter."

"A diverse group of people from all over the country will demonstrate for a variety of reasons their dissatisfaction with the government's policy of mandatory detention."

"It seems this government thinks that having an accent, different coloured skin or mental illness can be used to deprive some members in the community of their liberty. This raises serious concerns about the department's ability to act appropriately when dealing with claims for asylum"

"The point that can't be stressed enough is that what happened to Cornelia Rau is not an isolated incident. We know that at least 33 people have been wrongfully detained in the last year. This makes a mockery of the Palmer inquiry."

"Calls for an open and public inquiry by Cornelia Rau's family have been ignored. Now we discover before the inquiry has been completed that its terms of reference don't nearly go far enough. We need to discover why more than 1 person per fortnight can find themselves wrongfully deprived of their liberty."

"Beyond this, refugee advocates demand to know why, in a gross violation of human rights, asylum seekers are being locked up at Baxter for much longer periods, in some cases years. In addition it has been revealed that solitary confinement is routinely used as a punishment technique at Baxter."

"Advocates from around the country demand an open and publicly accountable inquiry into the behaviour of the department of immigration and indigenous affairs. Recent events in addition to the tragic case of Cornelia Rau would indicate that unconstitutional behaviour by the department sees persons subjected to punishment and indefinite detention without the authority of the courts."

"The community's concern for what happened to Cornelia Rau should extend to the fate of asylum seekers held indefinitely in Australia's detention centres. Protesters at Baxter are demanding the ending of lengthy periods of mandatory detention and the scrapping of the cruel temporary protection visa system in favour of permanent visas."

For more information about the Baxter 05 Convergence please visit:

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