Guantanamo for refugees.
While the leaders of European countries are racking their brains how to cope with the migrant crisis, Australia offers a ready and effective solution. The most stringent policy towards illegal immigrants did not deserve the approval of human rights defenders, but saved the country from countless boats with uninvited guests. “Lenta.ru” was aware of the peculiarities of the national reception of migrants by the authorities of the Green Continent.
Papua New Australia.
“Henceforth, any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will not receive a single chance to settle in our country. If he really turns out to be a forced migrant, he will be allowed to settle in Papua New Guinea, “- so in 2013 the then prime ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea announced the resumption of the policy of the” Pacific solution “, which was supposed to rid the Green continent of the uninvited guests .
Not wishing to receive them on their land, Canberra in 2001 concluded treaties with one of the poorest neighboring countries: Nauru and Papua – New Guinea. Under the agreements in the island state and on the Guinea island of Manus, special refugee reception centers were set up, to which the Australian Navy transported everyone who wished to take refuge and where their cases were dealt with by Australian civil servants.
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The sea of the dead.
It would seem that all parties benefit from this decision: Australia blocked the flow of illegal immigrants, and poor countries received additional funding. It was declared that this is done for the safety of the refugees themselves, who often died when they tried to get to Australia in fragile boats.
Then Canberra really achieved what she wanted: from September 2001 to early 2008, 1637 illegal immigrants were placed in special centers, and the flow of boats with migrants almost dried up. Nevertheless, money for the maintenance of the centers had to be allocated. The Labor government in 2008 solemnly abandoned the “Pacific solution”, but was forced to return to it a few years later, when the flow of illegal immigrants who knew about relapses again rushed to the Australian shores.
This time, the screws tightened even more, and refugees were even saved from the illusory chance to settle in the Green Continent. The closed centers were reopened, and money from the Australian treasury once again went to the budgets of neighboring countries.
Forged boot of Australian nationalism.
Finally, the Draconian regime for migrants was established by Prime Minister Tony Abbott who came to power in 2013. He announced the replacement of the “Pacific solution” with a new plan – “Sovereign Borders”. The name change was not accidental: Lieutenant General Angus Campbell gave control of the operation.
This time, the Australian government approached the “final solution to the migrant issue” with a truly strategic scope. In the Indonesian villages, where flimsy boats with migrants went to the Australian Christmas Island, they carried out propaganda campaigns. Engaged informants who reported on potential smugglers, and in exceptional cases, the authorities even paid for information on the transportation of refugees.
It got to the point that the Australian government bought out old boats so that the owners would not sell them to smugglers. If a boat with migrants was found in Australia’s territorial waters, the ships of the Navy took it towed and brought back to the Indonesian coasts – often in violation of the national sovereignty of that country. The Mariners were even released from the formal duty to exercise “due diligence” when transporting refugees back.
If forced migrants managed to get to the coast of the country, they were put in inflatable boats and sent to Indonesia or Sri Lanka. The centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea continued to operate; an agreement was concluded on the resettlement of refugees migrating to Australia to the territory of Cambodia.
The national composition of illegal aliens in Australian foreign camps:
Iranians: 311 people.
New Zealanders: 182 people.
Sri Lankans: 152 people.
Chinese: 120 people.
Vietnamese: 114 people.
Afghans: 76 people.
Bengalis: 61 people.
Indians: 61 people.
British: 59 people.
Citizens of other countries: 671 people.
“It was absolutely, absolutely, absolutely awful,” Ahmed, one of the prisoners of the migrant camp on Manus Island, said in an interview with BBC News. – The four of us lived in one room of two square meters! The Australian government has spat on most of our human rights. They do not even think of us! ”
Placed in this complex, refugees refused food, sewed their mouths, swallowed razor blades and rebelled – as a result of the riots even an Iranian was killed. Nothing has helped – the Australian authorities do not plan to change their policies, even in the face of sharp criticism from human rights activists.
According to the border service on January 31, 2016, 1807 people were in the centers for migrants. “The average term of detention of people in custody is 457 days,” the report says coolly. At the same time, the total number of illegal immigrants is steadily falling: in January 2013, there were almost seven times as many.
Camps are not for strangers’ eyes.
Illegal detention centers are almost closed to the media – the state duty for journalistic visa in Nauru is seven thousand dollars, and in case of refusal, the money is not returned. Lawyers also have a hard time: in 2014, one of the defenders came to the camp on the island of Manus to meet with the client, but his force was sent out for the territory, and then completely deported from Papua New Guinea for lack of a license.
To completely exclude the inconvenient topic of camps from the public agenda, the authorities in 2015 adopted the so-called “Border Service Law”, according to which for disclosure of any fact about the life of the migrant camp, Australian workers face up to two years in prison. An exception is made only for information that can save lives or prevent damage to the health of the prisoner.
Life is behind bars and transit to nowhere.
Meanwhile, they have something to tell: in December 2015, 600 prisoners of the center on Manus signed a collective letter, in which they begged to help them settle their accounts with life. They asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for a ship that would drop them into an open ocean, a gas chamber or a lethal injection.
“We asked for help earlier, but our requests for release were not heard. We realized that there is almost no difference between us and the garbage, we are just a bunch of slaves living in hellish conditions. The only difference is that we are very costly for Australian taxpayers, and we have already played a role for those wishing to “stop the boats” of politicians. We are essentially tortured and traumatized, trying to break, “the appeal says.
VICE News journalists managed to contact the author of the letter – Iranian under the pseudonym Mahmud – and ask about the conditions of detention. According to him, the staff constantly tells them that no country on earth will accept them and requires refugees to return to their homeland. Once every three days they are allowed, under the supervision of a security guard, to phone or access access to a limited number of websites.
The national composition of refugees held in transit centers:
Iranians: 203 people.
Sri Lankans: 102 people.
Afghans: 82 people.
Vietnamese: 63 people.
Citizens of other countries: 116 people.
Stateless persons: 59 people.
Prisoners are fed, given shower, communicate with each other, but are kept behind barbed wire and under constant supervision, depriving any hope for the future. “People here are going crazy. They are hung up, go hungry, engage in self-mutilation. I’m already tired of myself, “Mahmud finished. The quality of food provided to migrants also raises questions: at the end of 2015, more than a hundred people were burned down with poisoning. The noise was also caused by the case when one forced guest found human teeth in a serving of rice.
Meanwhile officially recognized refugees live little better: they are released from a camp for illegal immigrants and transferred to a transit center where they must wait for resettlement in Papua New Guinea. Plans for such resettlement are executed very badly, and most of them “hang” there almost forever. They are allowed to move around the island, but to leave it and even work on it is prohibited.
In an interview with The Guardian, an Afghan, Mohsan, one of the prisoners of the transit center, told about his life. According to him, he is regularly harassed by local residents who demand to leave their country, and from the workers of the migration services of Papua New Guinea, who give him roughly the same claims and beat him.
“I do not want money. I do not want to go to Australia. I want wherever there is freedom. Freedom, I need only freedom, “says Mohsan.
The policy of national harmony.
“No moralizing of those who do not realize the pernicious nature of the policy of open borders, will not lead to results,” the head of the Office for Migration and Border Protection Michael Pezzulo threatened the Australian senators after the story of a five-year-old child allegedly raped on the territory of one of the camps.
These rumors have been denied, but the criticism of the Australian policy against illegal immigrants is constantly heard: its brutality is also dissatisfied with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian organizations. Employees of migrant camps from the local population of Nauru and Papua-New Guinea also express their claims.
They believe that their countries do not benefit from migrant centers, and the Australians employed to work for them de facto have carte blanche for any violence. For example, in August 2015, The Guardian reported the rape by Australian personnel of one of the local female workers, while the suspects were quickly removed to their homeland before a full investigation.
Nevertheless, the situation seems to suit the coalition of right-wing parties and Labor Party: for the softening of the regime only the Green Party, which has only one seat in the House of Representatives and ten seats in the Senate, stands. On 2 February 2016, the Supreme Court of Australia confirmed the right of the authorities to keep illegals in camps outside the country and gave permission for the deportation of 267 migrants awaiting dispatch to Nauru.
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Express to Munich.
They, however, have a ghost chance to escape the fate of other refugees: on February 18, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Kay arrives in Canberra for talks with Turnbull. He wants to suggest moving them to New Zealand as part of the country’s commitment to accept 750 migrants annually.
This precedent was already in place: in 2013, under Julia’s premiership, Gillard Canberra agreed to send 150 people, but her successors stopped this practice, fearing a new influx of illegal immigrants wishing to settle in Australia or New Zealand.
As the observers note, the rigid attitude towards migrants, previously seen as an instrument of marginalization, is now gaining increasing popularity among European politicians. However, the scale of the problem faced by Europe is completely different, and it is unlikely that the experience of Australia will help the authorities of the 28 EU member states.
Guantanamo for refugees.