Medevac repeal shame—transfer them all now

| December 4, 2019 | Reply

The Refugee Action Coalition condemns the government’s repeal of the Medevac legislation.

The repeal of the Medevac legislation means that the refugees in PNG and Nauru will once again be left without medical treatment.

For over six years, the Coalition government has deliberately deprived refugees of medical treatment as part of its Operation Sovereign Borders policies. Even during the operation of the Medevac Bill, the Australian government colluded with the Nauru government’s efforts to block the transfer of people who have been approved for medical transfer. Around 40 people approved, some weeks ago, for medical transfer from Nauru are now left wondering if they will ever get the medical treatment they need.

“There has been a shocking campaign of orchestrated leaks, lies and misinformation in the government efforts to have the Medevac bill repealed,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “Yet, the Minister himself has directly approved 86 percent of all Medevac applications.

“There has never been a connection between people seeking asylum and national security. The government simply wants total control over the lives of those they have imprisoned offshore.

“The government cannot escape its responsibility for those they are holding offshore. We expect the government to transfer all those approved by Medevac and to continue processing the applications that have been made.

“Their willingness to use psychological and physical torture as part of their refugee policies is revealed by the mistreatment of over 40 asylum seekers being held on starvation rations and without phone or legal access in the Bomana detention facility in Port Moresby.

“The government has no resettlement process. The US deal is almost exhausted. Around 70 refugees are still waiting in Port Moresby to be transferred to the US. All the asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru should be brought to the mainland and given the protection they asked for in 2013.”

Refugee rallies will be held in Sydney and Melbourne, this Saturday 7 December.

Sydney rally: Saturday, December 7, 6pm, outside Parramatta Town Hall. Permanent (not temporary) visas, end fast track assessment process, allow family reunion.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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Category: Press releases

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