5 December 2020

Dear Mr Morrison,

I am a friend of the Centre for a Compassionate Society, which is based in the electorate of Melbourne. I live in the electorate of ***. I will be adding my voice to the voices of many others who value compassion, by writing a letter to your government every week until all refugees and asylum-seekers who have been detained on Nauru and in PNG under Operation Sovereign Borders are appropriately re-settled. We also seek humane treatment for refugees and asylum seekers on-shore. We are copying this letter to the Ministers and Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.

In mid-November, some of us received a reply from the Acting Director of the Department of Home Affairs, stating that our concerns had been addressed in previous correspondence, and advising us not to expect further responses unless substantive new issues are raised. Since that time we have asked specific questions about a number of new issues not addressed in that letter, and we request that your ministers respond to these. These concerns include:
1. The increasingly prison-like conditions of immigration detention
2. Your plans for expediting the processing of asylum claims for the almost 5000 people who make up the so-called ‘Legacy’ caseload
3. The unacceptable and increasing length of time that people are spending in immigration detention – this was also highlighted by the Human Rights Commissioner this week. He revealed that the average time people spend in immigration detention is 581 days, a figure which is orders of magnitude greater than any comparable country.
Furthermore, we request your response to the issues highlighted by Karen Middleton’s article in the Saturday Paper this week https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2020/12/05/medevac-refugees-we-face-special-punishment/160708680010817
about the apparently ’special treatment’ being given to those refugees and asylum seekers who were brought to Australia for medical treatment under the Medevac legislation. Prime Minister, why are so many of these people locked up in Alternative Places of Detention in confined conditions likely to exacerbate their physical and mental problems? Why are many of them  still waiting for medical treatment? Why are so many being harassed by being moved between detention facilities in the middle of the night without warning?
Your faithfully,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s