Australian government says ‘a very serious crime’ has been committed against asylum seekers
The Australian government has defended the way it has handled its response to the refugee crisis, saying “a very, very serious criminal crime” has been perpetrated against asylum-seekers.
Key points:Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government will do whatever it takes to protect people who arrive in the countryThe asylum seeker crisis has triggered “a moral panic” in the communityIt is not clear how many asylum seekers are in detentionThe Australian government said it had made “significant changes” to its response, including “a significant reduction in the numbers of people we’re looking at in detention”.
“The situation is a very serious one and we have to make decisions in this situation,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said in an interview with ABC radio on Friday.
“We will do anything that we can do to protect the people that we are processing in this country.
That includes a very, much greater reduction in people that are coming to Australia from places like the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Islands, and that’s something that we’re going to continue to do.”
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the numbers were “not yet high enough” to justify the closure of some offshore processing centres, and it would “continue to take all necessary measures to secure our borders and ensure that those people that need protection do not come into our country”.’
It’s not enough’The PMO also said the number of people in detention was “very, very low” but the government was “not taking any decisions” on their fate.
Mr Morrison said there was a “moral panic” among Australians over asylum seekers and the government would do whatever was necessary to protect those who arrived.
“The number of the people we are now processing in detention, we’ve cut that down considerably,” Mr Morrison said.
“What we’re seeing in the detention centres is that we have a very significant reduction of the numbers coming into our communities.”
He said the “moral panics” had also resulted in the closure or relocation of some “very dangerous” detention centres.
“There’s a very dangerous situation and we’re taking action,” Mr Turnbull said.’
It has become more and more difficult’Mr Morrison also acknowledged that some of the refugees were not receiving “the treatment that they should have”.
“It has now become more complicated for people who are in Australia to receive the treatment that we expect and we’ve done that,” he said.
The PM says it is “time to move on” to the next phase of the immigration crisis and that there was “no more urgency” to deal with the problem.
“Our policy has always been that we will take all appropriate measures to ensure that people are in our country as soon as possible and that the conditions that they have come to this country to endure have been met,” he added.
Mr Dutton, however, said the decision to close offshore processing was “time for change”.
“I think the reality is, there is no more urgency than this and the more time that passes, the more it becomes more and the harder it is to keep it up,” he told reporters.’
Not all the refugees’Mr Densitne also said “there are many more people who need protection” in detention.
“As we’ve said many times, we are not all the people in the system,” he explained.
“It’s only the people who have the greatest risk of being a refugee that we must take into our community and that we’ll always make sure that the best protection is available for.”
“There are a lot of people who were in detention that we would be happy to see released.”
The government has also said that “a number of refugees are still being detained on Manus Island” and on Nauru.
The number is unclear, but the Nauruan government has said some people on Manussis Island are “not fit to be detained” and “may not be eligible for resettlement in Australia”.