Stop the Deportation of Torture Survivor – 20/07/2012

A crime is happening, now.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 17, the department of immigration seized a Tamil refugee, a survivor of torture at the hands of Sri Lankan security forces, and locked him in a detention centre.

They did this to make it easier for them to forcibly deport this victim of persecution back into the hands of those from whose persecution he first fled. His health is still being massively affected by the torture he already suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankan state.

He is still locked up and will be drugged and forced onto a plane to Sri Lanka unless people make the Minister reverse his decision.

This is the beginning of an new, ugly phase, when refugees fleeing persecution will once again be forcibly deported to Sri Lanka, knowingly sent back into the hands of those from whose persecution they fled.

This is not justice; this is not humane; this is a crime.

Other members of this man’s family have received refugee status in other industrialist countries. In Australia, however, the ALP federal government has consistently minimised the war crimes, ethnic cleansing, torture and other crimes of its allies in the Sri Lankan state. Just as in the 1980s the ALP federal government systematically minimised the crimes of its allies in the Indonesian dictatorship, while supplying and training the Indonesian death squads who slaughtered thousands of East Timorese.

Now, however, this refusal to see the violence and oppression perpetrated by their allies is providing a pretext for the ALP federal government to send a survivor of torture back into the hands of those from whom he fled, the notorious torturers of the Sri Lankan security services, who have a warrant out for the man’s arrest.

The Minister for Immigration has refused to intervene to give this refugee fleeing persecution any form of protection. When the United Nation Special Rapporteur on Torture asked the Minister difficult questions about his case, and asked that this man not be deported in the meantime, the ALP federal government didn’t even bother to respond.

Together, we can and must prevent this crime. Together, we can demand that the Minister stop this deportation, that he abandon his plans to send this man back to his torturers, and return him to his family in Melbourne.

We urgently ask you to contact Minister Bowen and ask him to stop the deportation of Mr X, Sri Lankan asylum seeker in Maribyrnong IDC.

Phone the Immigration Minister now:  (02) 6277 7860 or Email: minister@immi.gov.au  

You can also contact your member in the House of Representatives and ask them to take action. Find your member here.