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November 17, 2011

SYDNEY REFUGEE PROTEST: DON’T DEPORT TO DANGER. NO FORCED DEPORTATIONS TO AFGHANISTAN OR SRI LANKA

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

The Refugee Action Coalition has called a protest outside the Sydney offices of the Department of Immigration, 26 Lee Street, 12.30pm, Friday, 18 November.

“The attempt this week to deport Afghan asylum seeker, Ismail Mirza Jan, to Afghanistan has highlighted the vulnerable situation of scores of Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers presently in detention,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The refugee determination process remains fundamentally flawed. Against the weight of objective evidence, the government seems to think it declare some part of Afghanistan to be “safe” as a way of avoiding its obligation to protect someone who is fleeing persecution.

“In its haste to deport Ismail, it was even willing to ignore its own procedures for assessing the conditions in Afghanistan and the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding itself.

“We are about to enter an particularly ugly phase of the Gillard government’s anti-refugee policies. The brutality, both physical and mental, of forced deportations, is itself a violation of human rights. They have no place in a humanitarian refugee policy. Physical restraints used for forced removals have themselves killed asylum seekers in Britain and Germany.

“And it is also clear, that neither Afghanistan nor Sri Lanka is safe for returned asylum seekers.

“We are determined to continue to fight both in the courts and to mobilise public opinion to prevent Ismail being deported.

“The court of public opinion has already condemned the Minister for Immigration for violating the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. The government must drop any plans to forcibly deport Ismail or any other Afghans or Sri Lankan asylum seekers.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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