refugees

Shorten urged to end offshore detention

Over 150 free speech advocates are calling on  Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to stop the offshore detention of asylum seekers. A letter has gone from those attending the nation’s top free speech awards, run by the rights body, Liberty Victoria.

The advocates want the ALP to change their policy to support the full resettlement in Australia of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.

Magda Szubanski, Yassmin Abdel-Magied take out free speech awards

One of Australia’s most popular actors and a prominent activist are among those awarded this year’s major free speech awards, announced today.

A further award went to a journalist asylum seeker who has been imprisoned without trial offshore by the Australian Government for over four years.

Actor Magda Szubanski has topped off an astonishing year by being honoured for her work for marriage equality. She is the recipient of the nation’s top free speech honour, the Voltaire Award.

Attacks on Manus refugees is Australia’s Christmas shame, says human rights group

Australia’s name for decency and a fair go has been permanently stained by the latest sickening violence on Manus Island, Liberty Victoria said today.

Reports of attacks on refugees with metal poles and other weapons to force them to a new unfinished prison after three weeks of resistance shames the nation, said Liberty president Jessie Taylor.

“Our leaders seem deaf to the appeals by Australians of the Year, religious leaders and people going into the street,” she said.

Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 [Provisions]

The Bill amends the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to empower the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to ban mobile phones and other items in immigration detention centres. It also expands immigration officers’ warrantless search and seizure powers, and authorises them to use dogs to search detainees and visitors.

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

We support the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).

The Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) (the Charter) imposes human rights obligations on every public authority in Victoria.  Relevantly for present purposes, s 10 of the Charter provides that:

A person must not be—

(a) subjected to torture; or

(b) treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way; or

New report finds: ‘What we don't know, can hurt us’

Young Liberty for Law Reform, a program of one of Australia’s leading civil liberties organisations, Liberty Victoria, released a report today shining a light on a dark corner of our democracy. The report recommends fundamental and urgent changes to the laws that apply to whistleblowers in our immigration system, and calls on the Commonwealth Government to end a culture of secrecy.