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Asylum seekers killed after being returned

October 21, 2009

Edmund Rice Centre

A w a r e n e s s : : A d v o c a c y : : A c t i o n

For immediate release Tuesday October 20 2009

Mistakes of the past must never be repeated Australian law must be observed to ensure that asylum seekers are never returned to face danger and death

The emerging practice of the Australian Government in seeking close cooperation with Indonesia and other neighbouring states to deal with asylum seekers must focus primarily on the protection of those who are in fact fleeing for their lives.

Phil Glendenning, the Director of the Edmund Rice Centre, called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to take advantage of the closer collaboration with Indonesia to ensure that asylum seekers are properly processed to ascertain if they have the right to asylum.

“Australian and international law are clear on this – a person is permitted to enter Australia for the purpose of seeking asylum, whether by boat or by air. A refugee’s claim for asylum has nothing to do with how they arrive in a country, but everything to do with the persecution that they are escaping. These claims must be properly assessed otherwise tragic mistakes will be made,” Mr Glendenning said. “ERC has found clear cases in the past where people came to Australia on the protection of those who are in fact fleeing for their lives. More

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