Medicins Sans Frontieres demands Australian Govt end offshore detention & turn-backs – Written by UNDERCOVER INFORMATION

The Executive Director of MSF Australia has denounced the current debate in Australia about refugee intake numbers as far too little, far too late, saying Australia needs to shoulder its fair share of the global burden. Australia’s offshore detention programme and its policy of turning back boats carrying refugees is also condemned. MSF Sea has for the last 12 months taken a leading role in helping to save thousands of lives of refugees across the Mediterranean and together with MSF Australia are well placed to make these observations about Australia’s refugee policy and operations. The crucial question now: is anger by the Australian public, dismayed at their Government’s appalling track record on refugees, enough? We suggest a dramatic form of intervention (MSF’s full statement is given in section C, below.)

A. Current state of play

The divestment campaign has achieved success with at least one big player – Hesta –dumping its shares of Transfield, the company the Australian Government uses to carry out its dirty work in managing the Nauru and Manus Island ‘black sites’ refugee gulag.

The recent Senate Inquiry into abuse at the Nauru detention facility reported multiple abuses – sexual, physical, etc – as did the earlier Moss review, but still the detention centre (and its equivalent at Manus) remains operational.

Meanwhile the Australian Government which is in breach of numerous international protocols/agreements in carrying out these punitive practices – continues to ignore thereports of abuses and public opinion, including condemnation by the UN Rapporteur on Torture and Amnesty International.

B. Next move?

Let’s face it, both major Australian political parties are determined to continue with these policies as a whole, despite the condemnations and public anger, and lobbying, and protests across Australia.

So perhaps it’s time to up the ante and consider more dramatic interventions to end this madness of possibly Australia’s most reactionary government in its very short history.Continue reading

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