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Scott Morrison should stop wrecking Immigration Department

Scott Morrison should stop wrecking the Immigration Department

November 18, 2013

"Immigration Minister Scott 'it's not Friday' Morrison deserves to be publicly and mercilessly flogged in the public town square over his fanaticism and 'secret instructions' to the Immigration Department - and with that public flogging we mean the merciless flogging he deserves this week across the Despatch Box in Parliament House," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said today.

"As an expected number of at least six hundred refugee advocates and activists are amassing on Canberra's ASIO Headquarters on Monday morning (18/11, 9am) and on Parliament House from 11am today, all attention in the House of Representatives should focus on the "hapless Minister for Immigration" and his other secrets - his secret instructions to staff in the Immigration Department responsible for managing their clients (oops, according to Morrison they're now "detainees"), and he should answer all questions relating to all asylum seeker (oops, according to Morrison they're now 'illegals'), all asylum seeker issues that are now repeatedly arising in the Australian media."

"Not a single elected Member of the Australian Parliament, including - and especially - Scott Morrison, should ever forget the public disgust that arose following the 2005 Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez [Solon] detention and deportation disasters. They should never forget the subsequent Mick Palmer Inquiry and the successful implementation of attitudinal and operational changes in the Immigration Department. These changes resulted in visible ethical changes in especially the branch responsible for managing asylum seekers detained in the various detention centres, and these changes were further consolidated by demands made on the Department and successfully implemented by former Immigration Minister Chris Evans."

"The astounding revelations posted in the Fairfax press over the weekend (see transcript below) testify the as yet most disturbing aspect of Morrison's zealous implementation of the Abbott government's asylum seeker policy. It is one thing to call asylum seekers "illegals" but the impact of a total abdication of the UN Refugee Convention's principles, which compels Australia as a signatory country to that Convention to regard anyone arriving by boat as an asylum seeker with UN rights until - and ONLY until - the Immigration Department's full and undiluted assessment of their refugee claim is complete. None of the disturbing trends reported have any justification under ANY policy in any UN Convention signatory country."

"Scott Morrison should answer each and every question that should arise in the Parliament about what exactly his instructions to the Immigration Department entail, and how exactly he has instructed the Immigration Department's detention branch to implement respect for the UN Convention's principles, and how these principles result in the minimum standard of operations and expressed respect for those detained under Australian laws in each and every detention centre."

"Opposition leader Bill Shorten may well have called the Minister 'Scott 'it's not Friday' Morrison', but many Australians alert to Morrison visible extremist attitude, including dozens of reporters from the Press Gallery and beyond, can think of many more disparaging nicknames for him - and we do not just mean 'The Member for Cronulla Riots', or, as former diplomat Bruce Haigh put it last Friday in the Canberra Times, 'The Reichsführer for asylum seekers'," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"It is up to the opposition to hold Morrison accountable, also in how his instructions are now resulting in an attitude of bullying, intimidation, and - as suggested by the Fairfax material posted below - how he justifies to make children of asylum seekers held in detention his pawns - and whether they are now being used as pawns of his extremist bullying strategies."

"Bill Shorten's Labor in opposition has a choice, right here and right now. It can ignore the disgusting signs of a torture camp mentality that are now arising and act like co-conspirators with Morrison in the heinous deterioration in detention centres, or it can proudly refer back to the Mick Palmer Report and previous reforms implemented by Labor governments following the Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez debacles and hammer the bajezus out of Scott Morrison."

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