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Australia’s (and it's PM's) Brutal Treatment of Migrants

Australia's PM has often been compared to George Bush - inept, foot-in-the-mouth statements, lack of judgement, intellectual cripple, bovver-boy, etc. etc. 

Under the present Australian government, treatment of refugees has not only been inhuman, inhumane and simply indecent, but brutal to boot.    It's a subject taken up by The New York Times in yesterday's editorial.

"Some European officials may be tempted to adopt the hard-line approach Australia has used to stem a similar tide of migrants. That would be unconscionable.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has overseen a ruthlessly effective effort to stop boats packed with migrants, many of them refugees, from reaching Australia’s shores. His policies have been inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war.

Since 2013, Australia has deployed its navy to turn back boats with migrants, including asylum seekers, before they could get close to its shores. Military personnel force vessels carrying people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea and other conflict-roiled nations toward Indonesia, where most of the journeys begin. A boat captain recently reported that Australian authorities paid him $30,000 to turn back. If true, that account, which the Australian government has not disputed, would represent a violation of international laws designed to prevent human smuggling and protect asylum seekers.

Those who have not been turned back are held at detention centers run by private contractors on nearby islands, including the tiny nation of Nauru. A report this week by an Australian Senate committee portrayed the Nauru center as a purgatory where children are sexually abused, guards give detainees marijuana in exchange for sex and some asylum seekers are so desperate that they stitch their lips shut in an act of protest. Instead of stopping the abuses, the Australian government has sought to hide them from the world."


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