Abbott government under fire for secret bid to hand back asylum seekers to Vietnam

0
30

The HMAS Choules (right) was close to the southern port city of Vung Tau. Photo: Kate Geraghty

April 17 2015

Heath Aston

Vietnamese Australians and human rights activists have blasted the Abbott Government over a secret Navy-led mission to return a group of asylum seekers back to the Communist government of Vietnam.

In a new milestone for the Coalition’s hard-line border policy, an Australian Navy ship was entering Vietnamese waters on Friday after what is believed to be a week-long journey to prevent boats reaching Australia.

HMAS Choules was close to the the southern port city of Vung Tau, south of Ho Chi Minh City, Defence sources confirmed to Fairfax Media.

The vessel was expected to hand over detainees to the Communist government some time after arriving late Friday or in the early hours of Saturday.

The vessel is carrying asylum seekers intercepted by customs and navy vessels earlier this month, north of Australia, the West Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office said no comment would be made on “operational matters” but human rights activists lashed the Coalition for another on-water action cloaked in secrecy.

Daniel Webb, director of the Human Rights Law Centre, said: “Australia should never return a refugee to persecution. All governments – whatever their policy position – should respect democracy and should respect the rule of law. Continually operating behind a veil of secrecy is a deliberate subversion of both.

 

Daniel Webb, director of the Human Rights Law Centre, said: “Australia should never return a refugee to persecution. All governments – whatever their policy position – should respect democracy and should respect the rule of law. Continually operating behind a veil of secrecy is a deliberate subversion of both.

SHARE
Previous articleUN informed of Australia’s secretive return of Vietnamese asylum seekers
Next articleLetter from Human Rights Law Centre in support of Vietnamese asylum seekers
I am a writer and editor, passionate about helping refugees and about exploring the challenges life throws at us through my writing. A former journalist, I previously worked in publishing and taught French to university students. I am a member of Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney (SASS) and have also served on the board of my children’s school for the past 13 years, including three terms as vice-president. My work has appeared in online and print publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Independent Australia, New Matilda, Eureka Street, Jewish Literary Journal, The Forward and Online Opinion. I can be contacted at sebban@tpg.com.au Tôi là nhà văn/nhà báo, và cũng là chủ bút. Với nhiệt tâm muốn giúp đỡ cho người tị nạn và tìm hiểu sâu xa hơn về những khó khăn trong cuộc sống mà chúng ta phải đương đầu qua những bài viết của tôi. Là một cựu phóng viên, trước đây tôi từng cho phát hành các ấn phẩm và đã từng dạy môn Pháp ngữ cho sinh viên đại học. Tôi là thành viên của Tổ chức Giúp đỡ Người Tầm Trú Sydney (Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney, SASS); và trong 13 năm qua, tôi cũng là thành viên trong ban đại diện hội phụ huynh học sinh của trường các con tôi học, với ba nhiệm kỳ làm phó chủ tịch. Những bài viết của tôi được đăng trên báo và trên trang mạng của những tờ báo như The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Independent Australia, New Matilda, Eureka Street, Jewish Literary Journal, The Forward and Online Opinion. Để liên lạc với tôi, xin gởi email đến địa chỉ sebban@tpg.com.au