Crimes against Humanity: Refugee Group urges Lawyer research

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130

Crimes against Humanity: Refugee Group urges Lawyer research

Media Release
February 26, 2002
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

Project SafeCom Inc. has with great concern taken note of numerous first-hand accounts by detainees in several detention facilities and by individuals working directly with these detainees, as posted on various locations on the Internet.

Project SafeCom Inc. notes that these stories include reports of beatings, being locked up in padded isolation cells for as much as 45 days at a time, blackmail, coercion, intimidation of adults as well as minors, all blatant human rights trespasses by staff of Australasian Correctional Management and Australian Protective Services, who are contracted by the Department of Immigration, and this being the case, carrying out orders by the Minister of Immigration, the Hon Philip Ruddock.

Project SafeCom Inc. further takes note of drawings made by children which seem to indicate great fear and anxiety; it takes note of children's drawings of guards with batons, detainees laying on the grounds of detention centres with guards standing over them with batons, with blood on the ground. Its committee is greatly distressed about these drawings, which seem admissible evidence in courts of law of human rights and other abuses committed in these centres.

The Committee further notes that children witnessing these events seem to be events, which may well traumatise these children for life. It notes in these severe breaches of the Rights of the Child. It also concludes that Australia itself seems to "refoul" asylum seekers coming to its shores - thus contravening the UN Refugee Conventions.

Project SafeCom Inc., in its working committee Meeting, declares that it fully supports the Call for a Royal Commission into the Australian Government's Treatment of Asylum Seekers, as posted online at this address: and which on February 26 2002 at 10:00 TST carried support by means of 9085 Signatures.

Project SafeCom Inc. has taken note of the remarks of Chris Ayres, Solicitor, (reportedly Solicitor of the High Court of Australia, and Supreme Courts of NSW and Qld) and signatory #617 to the Call for this Royal Commission:

"A Royal Commission should be conducted with the utmost urgency in order to ascertain whether or not Australia is in breach of international law in its treatment of refugees. If it is in breach, and if the treatment of certain refugees constitutes a crime against humanity then those liable should be tried under international law. This would go some way to restoring Australia's reputation within the international community."

Project SafeCom Inc. strongly urges the more than 600 Members of the Legal Fraternity who sponsored an advertisement in The Weekend Australian of February 2-3, 2002 (page 7) - and others - to immediately start preparing for proceedings and to investigate whether or not a case for such international law prosecutions against the Australian Government exists.

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