Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Cat and dogs comparison angers refugee supporters

A senior Federal Liberal MP has compared the plight of asylum seekers to that of cats and dogs entering the country. The comments have angered refugee advocates.

Trish Worth holds the federal seat of Adelaide by less than 1 per cent and at a refugee forum on Wednesday night, she made this comment: "If you bring a dog into the country, or a cat from some countries, they...look can you just hear me out please, can you just hear me out, there are certain tests to be carried out."

Don McMaster from Justice for Refugees was chairing the forum and says the comments are disappointing.

"Immediately the audience thought you know she's equating asylum seekers to animals, or animals in quarantine. It disappoints me because I think it actually perpetuates that whole demonisation of asylum seekers and I think that's one of the really worrying aspects of the Coalition Government over the past three years or even longer."

The Labor candidate for Adelaide, Kate Ellis, says she is shocked.

"At best a very poor choice of words I think," she said.

But Ms Worth says she was not comparing refugees to cats and dogs.

"It would not enter my head to be referring to refugees or asylum seekers in that way.

By Crocodile Rock 31 August 04


Gillard stirs Liberal leadership pot
[War criminal], Peter Costello yesterday said that the Federal Government should aim to get all children out of immigration detention and he suggested there should be an increase in immigration levels.

Public wants accountability: Latham
Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham says the Prime Minister needs to take responsibility for what he has said to the Australian public. Earlier today Howard responded to a list of alleged lies that Labor says he has told during his time in office. The Opposition released a document on the weekend titled Truth Overboard outlining 27 alleged lies.

Don't rock the Boat Howard!
PRIME Minister John Howard today denied the children overboard affair had swayed the 2001 election? Mr Howard has spent the week defending himself against claims he had been informed that nobody in Defence believed children had been thrown overboard by asylum seekers.

Australia an unfair nation, say young and all!
Young people and older people think Australia is undemocratic and unfair. Young people cite their teachers as having the greatest influence on their political thinking, according to a provocative new national survey funded by the Government. Older people cite "injustice" amongst other things as a "bent legal system" favouring hi profiled superstars, corporations and politicians.

Not happy, John
John Valder's alarm whistle effort 'let love be thy weapon' indeed Prime Minister John Howard is also the subject of a stinging attack in a Sunday feature this week, from the man who first engineered his ascent to the Liberal leadership in the mid-1980s former party president John Valder.

Prime Minister John Howard says voters will decide whether he has told the truth about the children overboard incident.

Children Overboard Affair: Howard 'unfit to lead'
The Federal Opposition says John Howard is not fit to be Prime Minister after new revelations about the children overboard affair. A former federal ministerial adviser says he told Howard in the lead-up to the 2001 election that no children had been thrown overboard from a boat carrying asylum seekers in Australian waters.

'Refugees and Indigenous People in John Howard's Australia' Politician - Senator Aden Ridgeway, the only Indigenous Federal parliamentarian, visits Villawood immigration detention centre and is a vocal critic of current refugee and Indigenous policy. Senator Ridgeway will discuss the proposed abolition of ATSIC as well as current refugee and Indigenous policy changes being fought for by the Australian Democrats. Advocate.

Forum on refugee and indigenous human rights
The long-term mandatory detention of asylum seekers not only breaches multiple UN treaties to which Australia is a signatory, it goes against the principals of any decent and humane society.

Baxter detainee continues hunger strike
A detainee at the Baxter detention centre near Port Augusta in South Australia has been on a hunger strike for a week. Sri Lankan Zeldon Daggie, 23, says he has been detained since arriving in Australia four years ago.

Senior cleric damns Baxter as 'disgraceful'
A senior world religious figure has called on the Federal Government to scrap its mandatory detention policy after visiting the Baxter detention centre in South Australia's north.

Australia's "GITMO" System
Australia's "GITMO" System In June 2002 on the PM program on ABC radio, PHILIP RUDDOCK is quoted as saying: "Well, let me just say, detention centres are not prisons. They are administrative detention. They're conducted in quite a different way." Detainees at Baxter report on a new regime instituted by Global Solutions Limited (GSL). Its purpose is to "teach you detainees to be respectful in the Australian way".

Detention centre media ban criticised
The Howard Government has been criticised in a report by media freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders for stopping journalists covering the conditions in refugee detention centres.

Compo claims could follow child detention, group warns
A refugee group has predicted a string of compensation claims, after the Human Rights Commission found numerous and repeated breaches of the UN convention on the rights of the child in immigration detention.

Child detention breaches UN convention: human rights report
A leaked final draft report by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) is calling for urgent changes to Australia's immigration detention laws.

Detention centre media ban criticised
The Howard Government has been criticised in a report by media freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders for stopping journalists covering the conditions in refugee detention centres.

Report recommends freeing child detainees
The Human Rights Commission has found that some children held in Australia's immigration detention centres have been exposed to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

No more children for Baxter, pleads SA
The South Australian Government is urging the Commonwealth not to shift any more children into the Baxter detention centre in the state's north.

Nauru staff 'fear children are next'
Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone says women and children are sitting in on a hunger strike at the Nauru detention centre, but are not participating.

Australian Govt human rights record 'worsening'
Community groups have given the Federal Government five out of ten for its record on human rights this year. Mr Purcell said the Government was also marked down because of the policy of holding children in immigration detention centres.

Here is a new project
1. Do you believe it is right to imprison innocent children?
2. Do you believe it is right to imprison innocent women?
3. Do you believe it is right to imprison innocent people?