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April 19, 2003

There's something going on here

There are lots of online stories about the clash between protestors and police outside the Baxter Detention Centre in Port Augusta where asylum seekers are now housed by the Commonwealth Government.

But there is very little about the Commonwealth's response to the Akram Al Masri judgement by the Federal Court, which declared that the Howard Government could not hold refugees indefinitely when they had no country to return to.

The response by the Commonwealth? To dump 2 Iraqi refugees from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, who were under detention in the Baxter Centre, in the Port Augusta Square at night. They were left there stranded with few possessions. Some had been in detention for over 3 years. They were dumped in the square at night by Australian Correctional Serives officers under instructions from Canberra. This action took place on the cusp of Easter.

No compassion for the refugees was shown at all, even though Australia has just fought a war with the oppressive Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein in the name of freedom from a brutal tyranny that controlled its population through fear and torture. Treating Iraqi refugees this way makes a mockery of the Government's reason of fighting the war to free Iraqi people. The Australian Government is indifferent to the wellbeing of the Iraqi people.

There is a long history of this indifference.

So much for the Christian values the Australian neo-cons say they uphold in their defence of the noble Western tradition. They violate the ethos of Christian compassion with every action they take to ensure that refugees are treated as criminals.

Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at April 19, 2003 04:27 PM

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Tracked on April 21, 2003 02:25 AM


Gary, is there a source for this story anywhere?

Posted by: James Russell at April 19, 2003 04:41 PM

The Weekend Australian, 19-20 Apl, p5.

Posted by: robv at April 19, 2003 05:06 PM

Didn't we fight that fucking war so we could send them all back?

Posted by: Tex at April 19, 2003 11:04 PM

I cannot remember Howard ever mentioning it as a reason.

Wasn't the war with Iraq to do with weapons of mass destruction; Iraq's links with mass terrorism; terrorists getting their hands on weapons of destruction; and a pre-emptive strike to prevent terrorists using WMD to attack the Anglo-Americans?

There were a couple of Palestinians released as well that night. Should we send some troops to fight with Sharon's Israeli to sort out the Palestinans?

Posted by: Gary Sauer-Thompson at April 20, 2003 01:29 AM

'Loitering' and 'offensive language' sound like the police were scraping the bottom of the barrel for arrests. You could nab hundreds of people in the CBD every day for such offences.

Adelaide Indymedia suggests tat even on the first day, events may not have been so placid.


Posted by: dj at April 22, 2003 11:16 AM

In all seriousness what else did you expect us to do with them? Hand them some of the taxpayers' money? Give them a Volvo and a free house?

The problem should not occur again as Saddam has gone and they can now return home. The long-suffering Aussie taxpayer is also going to give them a kickstart to the tune of $2,000 for individuals and $10,000 per family to go home.

Posted by: Scarlet at April 23, 2003 11:53 AM

Isn't it obvious, i expect them to be given your house and be given the exclusive right to sleep with your partner. All refugees should also be given a Gold Pass like politicians and be allocated a Family Trust bank account with $50 000 in it, which should tidy them over until they import the rest of their terrorist cell in via a rickety old fishing boat.

A Volvo and a free house? I don't have either, but this lack does not mean i am lulled into doublethink by the soft tones of Phil "I'm a member of Amnesty" Ruddock.

Posted by: dj at April 23, 2003 12:28 PM

I think all of you "dont spend tax payers money on refugees" people need a time out. If you actually started thinking and looking into why these people flee their home countrys and risk death in leaky boat to get to a suposed better place. And knew why they are doing this. They flee their countrys because if they stay they may be killed, raped, have their children being bought up in a place in where they could be hurt or not have a real life. Also I think Australians should be greatful that people are choosing our beautifully safe country to flee to. Another point I shall mention is that there are more British illegal imigrants that are outstaying their vias than other people. The only reason you are going on about middle eastyern and asian immigrants os because you only see the non white people through your racist, pig headed, uneducated, money obssesed eyes.
im in grade nine and I have been ashamed to be Australian over the last year because of all u racists

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Posted by: baccarat at May 23, 2004 11:24 AM

My Mum use to say , "you can catch a thief but you can't catch a lier" so how come Howard and his cohorts get caught lying all the time ie Children overboard! WMD! Iraq was responsible for 9/11 etc and now lying about what aussie soldiers knew about the torturing in Iraq gaols, was My Mum wrong or are Aussies that stupid they'd believe anything!!!

Posted by: mark gallagher at June 1, 2004 11:31 PM

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