PRESS RELEASE: Citizens Against an Australian asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste speaks out against Australia’s asylum plans
11 October 2010
For immediate release
Tonight Ms. Dinorah Granadeiro, Director of Timor-Leste‚s NGO Forum, presented a public petition to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship at an invitation only reception in Dili.
The petition opposes an Australian asylum seeker processing centre in Timor-Leste. It highlights Australia‚s poor human rights record in asylum seekers and emphasized Australia‚s responsibility to receive asylum seekers on its own soil.
“We reject any proposal for an Australian refugee detention centre in Timor-Leste,” said Ms. Granadeiro.
Ms. Granadeiro also gave the Minister an open letter stating several problems with Australia‚s plan. The letter emphasized that an asylum seeker processing centre distracts from Timor-Leste’s own needs, such as supporting health care, housing and education.
Few people in Dili were aware of the Minister‚s visit beforehand and the petition only began late Sunday afternoon. Organizers were overwhelmed by the response.
* Citizens Against an Australian Asylum Seeker Processing Centre in Timor-Leste
Mail via FONGTIL, Caicoli, Dili, Timor-Leste