People claiming to be refugees from politically unstable and poor countries are setting sail on leaky boats to Australia. But their hopes of resettlement are dashed well before they reach shore.
The new conservative government which came to power last year has re-opened two offshore detention centers. One in Papua New Guinea and another in Nauru, for processing refugee claims. Under the government’s policy, those found to be legitimate refugees are to be resettled in Papua New Guinea. Despite polling showing broad public support for offshore processing, the practice has been criticized by human rights groups. A United Nations assessment accused Australia of almost 150 violations of international law for indefinitely detaining refugees.
One refugee attorney labelled the detention centers ‘Australia’s Guantanamo Bay’. One asylum-seeker – an Iranian – was killed in riots that took place in Papua New Guinea leading to renewed calls for a change in policy.
But the government refuses to waver from its stand.
CCTV’s Anand Naidoo is joined from Los Angeles by Dr. Reza Hasmath, an academic who has written about Australia’s refugee policies to discuss more on this issue.
Interview with Dr. Reza Hasmath on Refugee Detention in AustraliaThe new conservative government which came to power last year has re-opened two offshore detention centers. One in Papua New Guinea and another in Nauru, for processing refugee claims. Under the government's policy, those found to be legitimate refugees are to be resettled in Papua New Guinea. CCTV’s Anand Naidoo is joined from Los Angeles by Dr. Reza Hasmath, an academic who has written about Australia's refugee policies to discuss more on this issue.
Phelim Kine, deputy director at the Asian division of the Human Rights Watch, also joins the discussion with CCTV’S Anand Naidoo from New York.
Interview with Phelim Kine on Australia Refugee DetentionPhelim Kine, deputy director at the Asian division of the Human Rights Watch, joins the discussion of Australia Refugee Detention with CCTV'S Anand Naidoo.
We took a look at Australian detention centers for asylum seekers in the first half of the program. Now we turn to what’s happening in the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
The prison was set up by the Bush Administration in 2002 to interrogate enemy combatants who were being suspected of terrorism. Critics have slammed U-S interrogation practices there with wide spread reports of abuse and torture. U-S President Barack Obama had promised to close the prison in 2009 but has yet to do so.
The U-S has transferred prisoners to other countries– with most of them going to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. But more than a hundred prisoners still remain in Cuba. President Obama renewed his push to close the prison in his State of the Union address in January of this year. Does this mean we are close to seeing Guantanamo being shut for good?
CCTV’s Anand Naidoo is joined by Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay and Commander Kirk Lippold who was also the Commanding Officer of the U-S-S Cole when it came under a suicide terrorist attack by Al Qaeda in Yemen in October, 2000.