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
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