Vanstone: "Security scare" of 14-month-old baby refugee takes 8 or more weeks

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

Vanstone: "Security scare" of 14-month-old baby refugee takes 8 or more weeks

Media Release
Tuesday March 29 2005 10:30pm WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"In an ongoing and sickening game of departmental spin and what looks like brinkmanship with refugee advocates, Amnesty International Australia and other organisations, the Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone has maintained that a Vietnamese 14-month-old baby, approved as a refugee since January this year, yet imprisoned on Christmas Island, needs to undergo 'health and security checks', lasting more than eight weeks," WA Refugee lobby group Project SafeCom stated today.

"Refugee baby Amy, who does little more than smile, cry, and deposit poo in her nappies, is the example of a laughable government take on anti-terrorism policy, where ASIO checks are done on refugees, even after DIMIA, the Department of Immigration, has approved their refugee status."

"Yet, the Minister shows absolutely no urgency whatsoever in looking at the Ministerial intervention request or "a 417" for Amy's parents: the parents of Amy were rejected as refugees, first by the DIMIA officer, then by the Refugee Review Tribunal".

"The fact that Amy is a refugee yet her parents are not starkly shows how sick Australia's refugee assessent system is, and should be convincing that we ought to completely destroy this system and replace it by a just and fair system, a system that is not under control of a party-political machinery or in the hands of incompetent public servants".

It has been reported that a great many parliamentarians have written to the Immigration Minister over 'the baby Amy case'. Member for Kooyong Petro Georgiou MP was mentioned, as was the Hon Judy Moylan, Democrats Senator Natasja Stott Despoja, Senator Andrew Bartlett, and former ALP President and member for Fremantle Dr Carmen Lawrence MP.

For more information:

Kaye Bernard
Vietnamese refugees advocate
[phone number posted]

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

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