Open Letter by RISE

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Letter to the Australian Public – Re:Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia – 31/10/2016

On behalf of our members and governing staff from over 30 of the refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia, RISE urges the Australian public to say NO to the Turnbull government’s plan to introduce legislation to ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever being allowed into Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to impose a “life ban” on refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived since 2013, as well as future refugees who will be arriving to seek protection, will be tied up with the “No Advantage Policy”, which was crafted and designed under the Labor party.

Therefore, we urgently request the public to resist the Australian Prime Minister’s proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia. You can contact your member in the House of Representatives and ask them to not to support it. Find your member, http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members. Australia as a nation should treat refugees, who come to seek protection, with respect. Instead Australian politicians past and present have used it to become the utterly politicised issue it is now in Australia.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal only serves political parties like One Nation, Pauline Hanson, and her followers will be proud of their White Australia policies. These fear-mongering leaders will only boost the attitudes of racists and xenophobes, but will not bring justice to our refugee community.

Men, women and children are trapped in Nauru and Manus, held hostage by the Australian government and are used as political pawns. This is deliberately designed discrimination and well managed by Australian politicians. There is enough evidence that Australia’s treatment of refugees is barbaric, and that treating survivors of persecution in this way should not continue.

There are over 65 million displaced refugees around the world. Many are languishing without proper protection in interim camps. Australia’s discriminatory, human rights-violating “offshore” processing system for asylum seekers who arrive by boat adds tally to the interim camps and keeps refugees in isolation. Deterrence measures may lower the number of asylum seekers in Australia, but it is not a just and humanitarian solution for people trying to cross borders by boat, or any other form of transport, desperately seeking a place where they can be safe.

To lobby for international action, click on the following links and raise your concern:
UNHCR Geneva http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4a324fcc6.html
UN New York http://www.un.org/en/contactus/
World Human Rights Watch hrwpress@hrw.org , http://www.hrw.org/contact/new-york
High Commissioner for Human Rights nationalinstitutions@ohchr.org , infoDesk@ohchr.org

Treating refugees as the problem or as political pawns is the REAL problem.

Link to the letter : http://riserefugee.org/letter-to-the-australian-public-rep…/

RISE TEAM.
‘Nothing About Us Without Us’

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