Our experienced government (you know that one, of course) knows what to do with people attempting to flee Burma. Because they didn’t go through channels and choose to rot in one of the overcrowded refugee camps on the Burmese border, but were silly enough to try to come to Australia, you may well ask, “What happened to them?” You guessed it. Nauru:
THE Immigration Department has revived using Nauru Island for its Pacific Solution policy by transferring seven Burmese refugees there.
The seven had been held on Christmas Island, but were moved to Nauru on Sunday, the Immigration Department said yesterday. An eighth Burmese refugee who has been detained on Christmas Island remained behind because he is in hospital, but would be sent to Nauru later, a spokesman said.
“It is longstanding government policy that anyone arriving on an excised place will be sent to Nauru,” he said.
The Burmese group were transferred to Nauru, even though two other asylum seekers, who have been detained longer, were not moved.
The other two asylum seekers, a Palestinian and an East Timorese man were also caught outside Australia’s migration zone. But the spokesman said it had not been “worthwhile” to reopen Nauru for one or two people. The Burmese group would now be denied access to Australia’s legal system as a result of being outside Australia’s jurisdiction, he said.
Members of Burma’s Rohingya ethnic minority, they include one asylum seeker who has told of being jailed for more than a year for opposing his nation’s military junta.
Nauru had agreed to accept them, and had issued them special visas while their refugee claim is processed — either by the department or by the International Organisation for Migration, which runs the Nauru detention camp on behalf of the Australian Government. The spokesman confirmed that the camp’s new occupants would be locked up for the time being. Read the rest of this entry »