Ian Rintoul

Cruel return to discredited Howard policies if Houston policies implemented

The Refugee Action Coalition has strongly condemned the Houston panel’s recommendations for offshore processing as made public at their press conference this afternoon. ‘Mr Houston and his colleagues had an opportunity to listen to the experts, escape the major parties’ persecution of refugees and inject reason into the asylum seeker debate,’ said Nick Riemer, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. ‘But the panel has made no recommendation that will improve the situation for refugees who have no other choice than…

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Asylum boat tragedy could have been averted: policy change can save lives; rescue too slow

From the timeline of contacts between Australian authorities and the capsized asylum boat indicated by Home Affairs Ministers, Jason Clare, it seems that more timely action by the Australian rescue authorities could have averted the latest asylum boat tragedy. “There is a need for a full inquiry into the information that all Australian authorities had about this boat,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “The lack of coordination between Indonesia and Australian rescue authorities is a serious…

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INDONESIA: Asylum seekers take to boats out of frustration

PUCAK, 22 June 2012 (IRIN) – Refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia, many of whom fled persecution and conflict in their home countries, say they are being driven to get on boats for Australia out of frustration with the resettlement process. “It’s been two years that I have been here. How long am I supposed to wait?” asked Liaqat Ali Yousufi, 32, an ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni Province, who was registered as a refugee in November 2011 and…

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It’s the Government, not the People Smugglers that has Blood on its Hands

The Four Corners’ people smuggling program has only added to the demonisation that surrounds the media and politicians’ portrayal of people smugglers. Rather than exposing a trans-national criminal network, Four Corners has revealed, what is so often the case, that people arranging boats for asylum seekers to come to Australia have often been refugees themselves, motivated by concerns for the safety of their families or asylum seekers from the same country. Ten of 16 people convicted for people smuggling between 2001 and 2006 were indeed refugees themselves.…

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