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Australia: Minister Give Birthday Girl Freedom


Minister Should Give Birthday Girl Freedom and Protection not Cake

The 18 year old Birthday girl Ngoc Giau Nguyen and her sister, Ngoc Bich Nguyen on Christmas Island. in detention since July 2003, are living on a knifes edge hoping that Australia will accept their family.

The "Sorry Cake" from the Immigration Minister to apologise for the birthday cake she missed out on because GSL refused to allow the cake to be given to her, has not yet arrived.

The Immigration Minister said, " "A kid should have a birthday cake, even if someone has to stand and watch people eat it, to make sure there isn't a file in it."

Refugee Advocate Kaye Bernard commented on the Minister's intention to give Ms Giau a cake personally, "I fear that Giau can't eat the cake that the Minister promises to deliver to the remote offshore detention facility. The young women has been held since 2003 in the Christmas Island detention facility, and is suffering emotional turmoil with the uncertainty of her families future.The teachers at the school are worried about how much weight the teenage girls are losing."

Mrs Bernard said, "Another young women aged 22, Ngoc Ung, has lost another 4kg and weghs 40 kg..she can't sleep for worrying about the future and has no appetite. In a clear demonstration of Department bungling this young women is now separated from her family she arrived with because they have been given visa's and are living in Melbourne. Ihis family group have been torn apart and Ngoc Ung stays awake at night and sleeps during the day as she is so scared."

The Prime Minister has publicly stated that a Vietnamese asylum seeker family can of course return to Vietnam at any time. However the National General Secretary of the Vietnamese Community in Australia has said in reply to the Prime Minister, "No, they cannot go back. They have been involved in an organised operation of dropping pro-democracy leaflets in Vietnam. This is considered by Hanoi’s kangaroo courts a crime against the state, and subject to long imprisonment."

Mrs Bernard said that, "Mr Howard should be briefed on the serious issue of the trafficking of women and children in Vietnam with the involvement of the corrupt communist authorites there. The high likelihood of these young women being left destitute and abused with the long imprionment of parents is on the cards should they be returned by his Govenrment."

"It is not cake these young women need from the Australian Government, it is protection and freedom now" commented Mrs Bernard.


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