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Apologise for the treatment of asylum seekers

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Today we learn Julie Bishop still wants ABC to apologise to Navy for asylum seeker stories.


Instead, we demand an apology from a government that has:


 * Directed the use of the term 'illegal' for political gain against people in a position of need.

 * Refused to communicate at all about asylum seeker matters, citing operational matters.

 * Denied Gillian Triggs of the Human Rights Commission the ability to visit Nauru

 * OK'd the spending of $2 million on Patrol boats to be given to Sri Lanka despite its human rights track record

* Introduced rules to not spit or swear; or face deportation

* Sent naval vessels into Indonesian waters


Overall, demonstrating a systematic and complete lack of human decency and compassion; despite what our own Parliamentary library stated in Feb 2013:


Asylum seekers who arrive by boat are subject to the same assessment criteria as all other asylum applicants. Past figures show that between 70 and 97 per cent of asylum seekers arriving by boat at different times have been found to be refugees and granted protection either in Australia or in another country.


This behaviour is against the very Australian Values we require immigrants to understand and recognise:


Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, Parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good.

Tony Abbott asks:

"Who do you believe?" Mr Abbott asked. "Do you believe Australian naval personnel or do you believe people who are attempting to break Australian law?"

... but with emerging claims from eyewitnesses, a clear benefit for the government to deny the claims and a claims of distortions from within party lines, it's clear the interests of the elected few are being taken over the interests of the many.


We demand an apology, and a reversal of current Australian Government policy towards asylum seekers to adhere to both the letter and spirit of Convention relating to the status of Refugees, as well as a cessation of distraction/attack politics on media commentators as an alternative to providing real solutions.


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