RISE OPEN LETTER TO RIGHTS GROUPS

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,

Immediate action has to be taken on this, as Australia has become infamous as a resource centre for many other countries to shape anti-refugee policies.

On behalf of our members and governing staff from over 30 refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia, Ex-detainees from RISE urge international human rights groups such as yours to sanction Australia and exclude Australia from participation in all international humanitarian and human rights decision making processes until mandatory detention and refoulement of Asylum seekers and Refugees is abolished in Australia.

As Australia aims for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, we cannot ignore the fact that Australia has been arbitrarily detaining refugees who are seeking protection by boats. Australia’s current offshore and onshore detention and boat turn back policies is not an overnight strategy. These are discriminatory policies systematically designed to murder, torture and exclude refugees who come to seek asylum by boat to Australia. When is this going to end? We question how Australia can be part of the UN human rights bodies or other global peace movements while continuing to commit crimes against humanity?

There are over 65 million displaced refugees around the world. Many are languishing without proper protection in interim camps. Urgent action has to be taken on this, as Australia has become the resource centre for other countries to shape anti-refugee policies. Australia has been left off the hook and not held accountable for implementing laws that violate the human rights of our community members. These laws have been passed through parliament with bipartisan support by Australian politicians who continue to be elected by the Australian people.

Australia’s discriminatory, human rights-violating “offshore” processing system for asylum seekers who arrive by boat adds tally to interim camps and keeps refugees in isolation. Deterrence measures may lower the number of asylum seekers in Australia, but it is not a just and humanitarian solution for people trying to cross borders by boat, or any other form of transport, desperately seeking a place where they can be safe.

Lack of transparency and accountability in Australian run detention centres is something that has been widely reported and acknowledged by International human rights groups including the UN. There have been many inquiries and many reports of deaths and sexual abuse within these camps yet nothing has changed because the Australian government is not being held accountable.

Refugee cases have been mishandled, unfairly dismissed and processed without proper adherence to refugee rights protocol and this should stop immediately.

We should not wait until one more refugee is murdered, tortured or refouled by Australia.

We demand the permanent closure of all detention centres, the release of all refugee/asylum seeker detention survivors to the community for resettlement in Australia with proper support services and an end to refugee/asylum seeker refoulement.

RISE EX-DETAINEES’ TEAM
RISE : Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees