The Australian Government must condemn not support Trump’s hateful actions

The Australian Government’s refusal to condemn President Trump’s hateful actions, effectively blocking tens of thousands of people seeking safety, must be called out for what it really is – shameful, Amnesty International said.

According to media reports, in response to Trump’s Executive Order banning entry to the USA for refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria, Prime Minister Turnbull and senior members of his cabinet have refused to condemn Trump’s actions, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop going so far as to say the Australian Government will support Donald Trump’s “strong immigration and border protection policies.”

“While we’re seeing global condemnation by many world leaders our Prime Minister has once again failed to live up to values of decency and a fair go for all, instead taking Australia’s well-trodden path of supporting cruel and inhumane policies.”

Dr Graham Thom, Refugee Coordinator at Amnesty International Australia

“Australia’s shameful response beggars belief. While we’re seeing global condemnation by many world leaders our Prime Minister has once again failed to live up to values of decency and a fair go for all, instead taking Australia’s well-trodden path of supporting cruel and inhumane policies,” said Dr Graham Thom, Refugee Coordinator at Amnesty International Australia.  

In light of the Australian Government’s pitiful response, Amnesty International calls on the Government to condemn President Trump’s Executive Order for what it is – a cruel, inhumane and deeply misguided decision. A clear violation of international law.

“We believe that the Australian Government once again needs reminding that this is about vulnerable people who are seeking safety. Hateful xenophobic rhetoric both at home and overseas must be condemned by all politicians, not supported,” said Graham Thom.

Amnesty International is making the following calls to the Australian Government:

> Show global leadership by publicly and strongly speaking out against President Trump’s discriminatory refugee ban

“Donald Trump’s Executive Order barring the world’s most vulnerable people from seeking safety is hateful politics, blatant discrimination on the basis of nationality and religion,” said Graham Thom.

“Australia has proudly maintained a non-discriminatory migration program over the last 40 years, has provided additional places for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in response to the ongoing crisis and will continue to increase its humanitarian program over the next two years. Yet in the face of a government that has chosen to do the exact opposite it has gone silent.”

“Today’s refugee situation is a global challenge where all governments must step up. Failing to speak out due to the fact that Australia is relying on the USA to sort out the mess that is Australia’s offshore detention system is disgraceful.

“Deliberately cruel policies and shirking responsibility for some of the world’s most vulnerable people will not solve this global situation and supporting it shows just how out of step the Australian Government is with global needs.”

> Define details of the agreement with the USA to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must immediately provide details of exactly what will or will not go ahead with the arrangement with the USA,” said Graham Thom.

“The people on Nauru and Manus Island have suffered enough at the hands of Australia’s deliberately cruel policies, the vague state of the arrangement and lack of information being provided to them in the current turmoil is deeply distressing.

“The mental health and wellbeing of the people on Nauru and Manus Island is paramount and Prime Minister Turnbull must immediately provide clarity and commit to finally resolving the unsustainable situation that is offshore detention and immediately get the people off the islands.

“The fairest and quickest way to do that remains bringing them to Australia immediately to process their asylum claims and welcome refugees into our community.”

> Help the people who Trump has rejected by increasing Australia’s annual humanitarian intake to 30,000 people

“Trump’s hateful actions are devastating for the adults and children fleeing danger in countries such as Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Somalia. These men, women and children are the victims of the same terror President Trump claims he wants to fight against,” said Graham Thom.

“Now more than ever before Australia must step up, fill the gaps and play our part in sharing this global responsibility.

“The Australian Government must offer safety to more people by increasing our annual refugee intake to a minimum of 30,000 people.”

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