MEDIA ALERT - PRESS CONFERENCE
Who: Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director, Human Rights Law Centre - who represent most of the affected people, Amy Frew, Lawyer, Human Rights Law Centre, Natasha Blucher, Detention Advocacy Manager, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Date: Sunday 27 August 2017
Time: 11:00AM (AEST)
Location: HRLC, Level 17, 461 Bourke St, Melbourne
Note: Call 0419 100 519 for entry
Leaked Government documents have revealed that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is planning to throw up to a hundred refugees and people seeking asylum and living in the community out onto the street in a move designed to force them back to danger.
The documents, revealed overnight, show that starting Monday the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will issue dozens of refugees and people seeking asylum who were transferred to Australia from offshore detention for medical reasons with a ‘final departure Bridging E Visa’. The visa will give them three weeks to find their own accommodation while at the same time cutting their entire financial support and directing them to make arrangements to leave Australia.
Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, said:
“This is a shocking act of cruelty. We are talking about people who have been in Australia, some for several years. They have endured unimaginable suffering but are finally starting to rebuild their lives in freedom and safety in our communities. Then now, out of the blue, Dutton is trying to force them back to danger by making them destitute.”
The policy comes more than a year after the successful Let Them Stay campaign that prevented Minister Dutton’s first attempt at deporting this same group - including babies born in Australia - back to Nauru and Manus Island.
“We're talking about people who have been part of our communities for years. The sensible and compassionate thing to do is to let them stay. Instead, Dutton is trying to make them destitute and coerce them back to harm.”
For further information please call:
Michelle Bennett, Director of Communications, Human Rights Law Centre, 0419 100 519