The Null Device

Gifts from Canberra

Attempting to soften its hardline image somewhat, the Australian government recently "granted freedom" to several imprisoned asylum seekers. Only, according to a recent letter to The Age, not quite:

Reports of the Government "granting freedom" to 10 long- term detainees (The Age, 31/5) are misleading. These 10 people are being released into the community on the Removal Pending Bridging Visa (RPBV). This is a visa that can be revoked at any time without notice and requires the person to abandon all their current legal proceedings and future legal rights to seek asylum. This means that an asylum seeker will have no access to judicial review against any decision to revoke or cancel this RPBV and cannot do anything to stop their removal.

All this visa does is prey on the desperation of people who will agree to it to get out of the hell of being in detention. It is designed to circumvent involuntary return, and provides no solution to those who cannot return and rather just leaves them in limbo, possibly

Is this what we call "freedom" these days in Australia?
Kon Karapanagiotidis, co-ordinator, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Avondale Heights

There are 1 comments on "Gifts from Canberra":

Posted by: tony Thu Jun 2 12:39:35 2005

As John Farnham once said, "That's Freedom."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but were the changes to legislation that allowed this to happen supported by the ALP in the senate in 2004? I cannot remember. My brain's gone all fuzzy.

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