Australia preventing scrutiny on asylum seekers in detention.

United Nations special rapporteur for asylum seeker human rights delays Australian visit, cites Border Force Act

The United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants has postponed a planned trip to Australia, claiming the Federal Government’s immigration legislation preventing people talking about what happens in detention facilities does not allow him to carry out his job.

Francois Crepeau said he was invited to travel to Australia by the Commonwealth and planned to gather information about the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in the country and on offshore detention centres.

He was due to arrive tomorrow.

“In preparing for my visit, it came to my attention that the 2015 Border Force Act, which sanctions detention centre service providers who disclose ‘protected information’ with a two-year court sentence, would have an impact on my visit as it serves to discourage people from fully disclosing information relevant to my mandate,” Mr Crepeau said in a statement.

“This threat of reprisals with persons who would want to cooperate with me on the occasion of this official visit is unacceptable.

“The act prevents me from fully and freely carrying out my duties during the visit, as required by the UN guidelines for independent experts carrying out their country visits.”

Mr Crepeau said he had asked the Government to give him a written guarantee people he interviewed during his tour would not be at risk of sanctions under the Border Force Act.

“As the Australian Government was not prepared to give the written assurances required by the official terms of reference for fact-finding missions by special rapporteurs, it was not possible for me to carry out the visit in my capacity as a UN independent expert,” he said.

“Since March 2015, I have repeatedly requested that the Australian Government facilitate my access to its off-shore processing centres.

“I was also extremely disappointed that I was unable to secure the cooperation needed to visit any offshore centre, given the international human rights and humanitarian law concerns regarding them, plus the Australian Senate inquiries on the offshore detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, which raised concerns and recommendations concerning these centres.”

The ABC has contacted Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office for comment.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the announcement highlighted Australia’s immigration shortcomings on a global stage.

“The lack of transparency, the lack of free and unfettered access means that Australia is continuing to keep all of their operations in the dark, hidden even not just from the Australian media, but now from the United Nations itself,” she said.

“The Government should guarantee that any staff or professionals working inside Australia’s detention camps can speak openly to the United Nations, without fear of persecution, prosecution, or indeed the two-year jail sentence.”

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10 Responses to “Australia preventing scrutiny on asylum seekers in detention.”

  1. gerard oosterman Says:


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I would be very grateful for this Dutch report to be translated in English. I tried to do it but my IT knowledge is not that great.
      The title is saying that on his (Tommy Wieringa) visit he thought Australia reminded him of a mental hospital. He could well understand why the Dutch right wing Gert Wilders was so keen to come to Australia. His anti Islamic stance would be ‘wildly’ welcomed and received! .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bkpyett Says:

    Let’s hope that things will change under our new prime minister….
    it is just appalling as it is!


  3. Curt Mekemson Says:

    It seems strange that the Australian media isn’t all over this, Gerard. Is it limited in what it can cover? –Curt


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Just this morning it is all over the media in Australia. The Government is afraid of what might get discovered about its off-shore detention gulags
      They have vowed that refugees on off shore islands will never get to Australia, including Syrian refugees. So, the question is ;what will happen to those people?


  4. stuartbramhall Says:

    The New Zealand media is all over the 200 Kiwi ex-pats who are being held at Christmas Island. Many have lived in Australia for years, have children there and are facing deportation for relatively minor offenses:


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We shall see what the media will come up with next, to convince this Government to change their evil ways. The twitter is certainly doing their best with many pointing out that Turnbull might well be the new Abbott. Morrison is a charlatan whose religion speaks in tongues. A forked tongue.


  5. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Do you think we will ever have a government that is as embarrassed as we are about our international standing?


  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    This is now criminal, surely.


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