The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the payment of compensation to almost 2,000 asylum seekers because of their mistreatment in detention.
“The decision by the Australian Government to pay compensation to 1,905 Manus Island detainees is a stunning admission of the barbaric conditions in the detention centre,” Mr Wilkie said. “It’s unambiguous proof of the need to shut down all offshore processing immediately and bring detainees to Australia for processing of their claims.”
“It can be reasonably assumed that the conditions on Nauru are no better, not that we would know because all information out of there is being censored by the Nauruan government, no doubt at the direction of the Australian government.
“Australia’s response to asylum seekers is unethical and illegal under international law. There can be no doubt now that it is also inhumane and a crime against humanity which is why I continue to pursue my complaint to the International Criminal Court for action to be taken against the Australian Government.
“While ultimately the Prime Minister is responsible for the Government, it is the behaviour of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton which is especially appalling. This is a man with no regard for human suffering or respect for the law. For him to now want his power extended even further so that he personally can overturn court decisions is the stuff of a police state.
“I call again on the Government to immediately shut down offshore processing and to bring all asylum seekers to Australia for processing. And I’ll continue to pursue policies in the Parliament that will see the end to mandatory detention, boat towbacks and other measures to punish people, most of whom are fleeing for their lives.”