Villawood protest: Free Ranjini and her baby Paari; free all ASIO-negative refugees

| February 9, 2013 | Reply

A protest to support ASIO-negative refugees and welcome Paari, the latest baby born to an ASIO negative refugee, will be held at 11am Sunday, 10 February outside the residential housing complex at the Miowera Rd entrance Villawood detention centre.

The rally will call on the government to free the ASIO negative refugees from detention. The rally will also highlight the particular plight of Ranjini, a Tamil ASIO negative refugee who gave birth to baby boy, Paari, on 15 January and other ASIO negative families who are presently indefinitely detained.

In spite of the High Court finding in October 2012 that the government could not deny a protection visa to a refugee on the basis of an adverse ASIO security assessment, no ASIO negative refugees have been released.

The Stoner review of the negative ASIO assessments is proving painfully slow with only a handful of the refugees, so far, having been asked to make a submission under the review process.

“Some of the refugees have been in detention for over four years and are still in limbo. It has been five months since the High Court decision and they are still waiting. The Minister has the power to release the refugees from detention but so far has refused to do so. Yet refugees are denied even the same rights as Australian citizens,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“There is a real urgency now, as the Coalition has announced they will terminate even the limited review that Labor has put in place. The Gillard government should act to enshrine a right of review for ASIO-negative refugees in law, or the refugees will be left entirely at the mercy of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison.

“At the moment, the Stoner review can only make a recommendation. ASIO will still have the final say. That is not good enough. There is an opportunity for the incoming Immigration Minister to Brendan O’Connor to act and use his discretionary powers to end the injustice of allowing ASIO to judge, jury and jailer.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul, 0417 275 713

Protests will also be held on Tuesday February 12 at the Papua New Guinea consulates in Sydney and Brisbane to co-incide with the first court hearing in PNG of the constitutional challenge to the Manus Island detention centre.

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