Australia: Ruling upholds refugees’ rights

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The Australian High Court ruled on 31 August 2011, that the Australia-Malaysia Transfer and Resettlement Arrangement is invalid and that any attempt to remove these asylum seekers to Malaysia would be unlawful, Human Rights Watch said.

Sydney World Refugee Day march - Photograph: Peter Boyle

Under the transfer and resettlement arrangement, Australia would have sent to Malaysia 800 asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat in exchange for resettling 4,000 refugees from Malaysia.

The ruling forbids Australia from sending asylum seekers to Malaysia, which has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention and has no refugee law or asylum procedures. The Refugee Convention has been ratified by 145 countries.

“The court knows a dirty deal when it sees one,” said Bill Frelick, Refugee Program director at Human Rights Watch.

“The Australian High Court’s ruling decisively rejects an ill-conceived government plan that would violate the rights of asylum seekers in Australia. The Australian government should now live up to its own responsibilities to decide the claims of asylum seekers on its territory.”

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Pearly Ung
Pearly Ung
23 Sep 2011 8.15am

Looking at the issue of alleged asylum seekers, using Malaysia as a transit and opportunist people smugglers who are profiteering, cheating and risking lives of alleged asylum seekers, the Malaysian Solution as proposed is the best solution. People smugglers are modern slave traders and pirates….think from that angle instead. Soon you will find Malaysians taking illegal boat rides to Australia, claiming to be asylum seekers, just because they are do not profess to being Muslims.