Parliament urged to ditch lifetime ban bill, as faces of refugees reach its doorstep

Amnesty International Australia and the Refugee Action Committee Canberra today urged Parliament to scrap the proposed lifetime ban bill.

Concerned community members brought giant photo portraits of people seeking asylum locked in offshore detention to the lawns of Parliament House early this morning.

“Enough is enough, the lifetime ban is yet another layer of cruelty in Australia’s already abusive policy. It is outrageous and completely unnecessary and must be scrapped completely.”

Phoebe Howe from Amnesty International Australia.

“Enough is enough, the lifetime ban is yet another layer of cruelty in Australia’s already abusive policy. It is outrageous and completely unnecessary and must be scrapped completely,” said Phoebe Howe from Amnesty International Australia.

“The Australian Government needs to stop shirking their responsibility to provide safety and protection for people who need it. We need urgent change, 2016 cannot end with the thousands of people left languishing in limbo, they have suffered enough at the hands of the Australian Government’s abusive policy, it must come to an end.”

Labor Member of Parliament Andrew Giles and Greens Senator Nick McKim addressed the crowd, outlining that the lifetime ban bill would be opposed.

“If passed, the lifetime ban bill would see all who arrived by boat after mid-2013 banned from entering Australia under any circumstances. This cruel measure could tear 20 families apart, by banning individuals from ever visiting their family in Australia. Powers to lift the ban would sit with the Immigration Minister, and would not be subject to review, giving the minister the power to arbitrarily decide who enters Australia,”  Dr John Minns, from the Refugee Action Committee Canberra, said.

“It is an unnecessary, and deliberately cruel measure, with the sole purpose of punishing refugees based on how they traveled to Australia seeking asylum.”

Dr John Minns, from the Refugee Action Committee Canberra

“It is an unnecessary, and deliberately cruel measure, with the sole purpose of punishing refugees based on how they traveled to Australia seeking asylum. It is also in clear breach of our international obligations, including Article 31 of the Refugee Convention. The community will not stand for this inhumane policy.”

Profile Picture
Amnesty International