Refugee Action Coalition
AFTER HIGH COURT RULING:
SYDNEY PROTEST TO CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO LET NAURU AND MANUS ASYLUM
SEEKERS STAY IN AUSTRALIA
The High Court decision that detention of asylum seekers on Nauru and
Manus is lawful has again revealed the fundamental flaws in the
Just as the High Court has found that indefinite detention in
Australia is lawful, the High Court has found that Australian law
allows the government to send asylum seekers to be detained on Nauru
and Manus Island.
The High Court decision hides behind a legal technicality. It avoided
the substance of the challenge by finding that the asylum seekers on
Nauru are detained by the Nauruan government.
This is a legal fiction. Detention on Nauru only exists because of the
Australian government. It is maintained at the behest of the
Australian government. Its funding and management is maintained by the
The UN Committee on Torture last year declared that under
international law, Australia could not escape its responsibility for
the offshore detention centres it maintains on Nauru and Manus.
The High Court also maintained the legal fiction that the asylum
seeker would not be sent back to detention because of the “open
centre” arrangements put in place by the Nauru government.
But the so-called open centre arrangements have changed little in
practice. Asylum seekers are still searched going in and out of the
camp. They are still not allowed to bring anything, even food, back
into the camp.
In any case, Nauru itself is a prison.
“The government cannot hide its responsibility for Manus and Nauru
behind the High Court decision. In the higher court of public opinion,
everyone knows that Australia is responsible. The fate of the 260
people presently in Australia is with the Minister for Immigration.
The government has always had the power not to send asylum seekers
back to offshore detention,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the
Refugee Action Coalition.
Protest: The Refugee Action Coalition has called a protest, 12.30pm
Thursday 4 February, Immigration Office, Lee Street, City, as part of
national mobilisations (details below) to call on the government to
let the asylum seeker and refugees stay in Australia.
Speakers include: NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi; Gaby Judd,
Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children; refugee speaker,
others to be announced.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
MELBOURNE | THURS FEB 04
5:30pm, State Library of Victoria
CANBERRA | THURS FEB 04
5:30pm, Cnr Northbourne Avenue and Barry Drive
PERTH | THURS FEB 04
6:30pm, Perth Immigration Residential Housing (PIRH)
BRISBANE | FRI FEB 05
12:00pm, DIBP, 299 Adelaide St
DARWIN | MON FEB 08
5:30pm, Nightcliff Pool