10 Oct 2013

Australia sending asylum seekers home without assessing claims - advocate

8:11 pm on 10 October 2013

An advocate for refugees says it is a scandal that Australia is deporting five Sri Lankans seeking asylum without assessing their claims.

The five had spent about a year incarcerated in a camp on Nauru until being moved to the remote Curtin camp in northern West Australia two months ago.

The spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, says it appears the Australian government is simply weeding out the nationals of some countries and refusing to allow any assessment of the validity of their asylum claims.

All of which he says exposes the fiction that Nauru was undertaking the assessments.

"It is very clear that it is the Australian Immigration Department which is making the decisions about at least some of the people who they were responsible for originally sending to Nauru in the first place. They sent these guys to Nauru a year ago and then in August decided they were going to come back to Australia, now they are going to send them back to Sri Lanka. It is very clear that it is not Nauru that is making the decisions and these people have been the Australian government's responsibility all along."