Thursday, July 28, 2005

Australian Immigration Departmental statement on Hwang case

The Immigration department finds a woman who entered Australia on a false passport, takes her into detention. Then assuming that her two children were not entitled to reside in Australia, plucked them from their classrooms and put them in detention with their mother.

Horror of horrors, the government released them because these kids were Australian citizens. Kids missed school 4 months, and relatives commented that the kids were emotionally different now, having seen people self-mutiliate themselves in detention.

In the Australian Immigration Media Release - Departmental statement on Hwang case, the Department stated that the children's status came to light after the PM asked for the status of all women and children in detention be reviewed.

In light of these events, I believe the government should hand over the task of deciding who gets detained to courts. Loss of liberty is not a decision to be made by an administrative arm of government. The onus is on the immigration department to prove that these people have to be detained to a court, rather than these people proving to the court that they deserve to be freed. This is a basic principle of justice.

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