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Please see below the text of a letter to Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Immigration
cc: The Honourable Mark Dreyfus QC MP
15/04/2013
Dear Minister,
We, the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), are writing to you to in regard to the 56 refugees who are being detained indefinitely because they have negative security assessments by ASIO. Almost all of these people are Tamil refugees.
You carry the discretionary power to release these refugees, who currently are imprisoned indefinitely for reasons that are not being made clear to them.
Some of these refugees are currently on hunger strike at MITA in Broadmeadows: if they are not released they may die. In their statements they have stated that they would prefer death to the indefinite imprisonment which they find themselves trapped in. Their detention is evidently harmful and should be ended.
There is a significant level of community concern about the detention of asylum seekers and refugees as it violates the rights of these people under the UN Refugee Convention. Indeed, ASIO has made it clear that these refugees do not need to be detained due to their negative assessments.
As members of the Jewish community, with the communal histories we carry, we know well what it means to be refugees: to be persecuted, excluded, imprisoned. As people with that knowledge and history, we urge you to exercise your power to release all of these detainees into the community on Protection Visas.
Yours sincerely,
Australian Jewish Democratic Society