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Australia Locks Away Asylum Seekers

A report in Federal parliament recently revealed that Australia had breached its human rights obligations by transferring a number of uncharged asylum seekers directly to prison. The findings by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) were tabled by the Attorney General.

The practice had amounted to arbitrary detention in a number of cases. The Australian government had failed to treat people deprived of their liberty with humanity and respect, detaining the asylum seekers for up to two and a half years in prison without ever charging or convicting them in a court of law. The report found that often the Department of Immigration had failed to follow its own guidelines, including a failure to monitor an uncharged asylum seeker whilst in prison.

AI INDEX: ASA 12/011/2002 12 November 2002

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