Government, ASIO need to explain interference in refugee visas process

In reaction to reports that the former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison deliberately obstructed the processing of visas for refugees in 2013, Amnesty International Australia’s Refugees Coordinator Graham Thom said,

“This is another example of Australia’s cruel and punitive approach to people arriving by boat to seek our protection. This is despite the recommendation from the Minister’s own Department that under Australia’s international obligations, these people were entitled to permanent protection.

“The Government needs to explain why these measures were taken and why it is appropriate that Australia’s security agency, ASIO, was being used in this way.

“Now that the Home Affairs Department has been established, giving the current minister Peter Dutton carriage of both Immigration and ASIO, Minister Dutton should rule out using ASIO as a pawn in the implementation of his cruel immigration policies.

“Amnesty International Australia is calling for clarity from ASIO as to whether they complied with the then Minister Scott Morrison’s request for them to delay applications, and we are calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene to rectify the assessments for all the refugees affected and grant them the permanent protection they deserve.”