While we believe that these genuine refugees deserve access to a full judicial appeal process, this announcement still gives much needed hope for 60 odd refugees, including infants and children, who otherwise face an indefinite detention without having the basic right to at least know why they have been assessed as a security threat to Australia.
ATC strongly believes that balancing of sensitive information important to national security and reviewing of the evidence provided by ASIO and verification of the authenticity and reputation of the source ensures that security decisions are made correctly and miscarriages of justice are avoided.
“Protection from harm is the right of every human being and that includes the refugees who have fled persecution by vicious governments just because of their ethnicity. Refugees, including Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka, who had been assessed as security threats by ASIO have been in detention for as long as three years including a pregnant mother and children who were born in detention and were to be held indefinitely in detention without being offered a right of appeal," said Dr Bala Vigneswaran of the ATC. “Considering the welfare of these refugees, appropriate steps should be taken to release them to live in the community until a final decision is reached. Certainly, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is comfortable with this approach”, he added.
ATC urges the federal government to review the cases of all the refugees deemed security threats with due haste and show that in Australia justice and protection are provided to everyone.
Dr Bala Vigneswaran, Australian Tamil Congress – 0404 404 777