Saturday, April 21, 2007

How bizarre is that!

The agreement between the US and Australia to, in effect, to "trade" refugees, is bizarre to say the least. It's also against international laws dealing with the treatment of refugees.

The IHT takes up the subject in this piece and the response of Human Rights Watch to the "deal":

"The United States and Australia are attempting to avoid their international legal responsibilities through a deal to exchange hundreds of refugees held at offshore detention camps, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Under the agreement signed by Canberra and Washington on Tuesday, around 90 asylum seekers — Sri Lankans and Burmese — currently held at an Australian-run immigration detention camp on the impoverished Pacific island nation of Nauru could be resettled in the United States if they qualify as genuine refugees.

Australia, in turn, would resettle up to 200 Cubans and Haitians annually from asylum seekers who are intercepted at sea while trying to get to the U.S. and held at the American naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

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