Saturday, May 05, 2012


Dear Friends,

  There are a number of Hazaras in the community on BCV or CD who have been failed at IMR and in the COURT.

Some have failed at IMR and are unable to get representation at COURT because there is no legal error.

This does not mean that they are not refugees on convention grounds but simply that there is no legal error on which a lawyer can take the matter to COURT.

  The problem is that all that is left is what is a called the ITOA

process- International Treaty and Obligations Assessment. We fear that this is nothing more than a pro forma TICK OFF of The INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS to which Australia is signatory so that they can wash their hands as they send someone back. The IAAAS providers  ( government legal assistance ) are supposed to put in submissions. SOME (who will remain

nameless) who offer a minimalist service for their contract payment are putting in a proforma generalist submission which has no relevance to the individual asylum seekers case. This will have no effect on the decision made but then it is not expected too. The system is a sham.

Back to the problem facing the asylum seeker. Hazaras are being called up to DIAC and told that they have failed and must go back to Afghanistan or be forcibly removed.

  The fact is that the Australian Government at this stage has not secured permission to return Hazaras by force to Afghanistan- no matter what they claim.

NO HAZARA has been sent back by force recently. A few have returned voluntarily to save family. They went with heavy hearts - one man said "what use is a visa to me if all my family is dead".

DIAC SAY that they are required to tell people that they have to return or be forcibly removed because it is part of the process.

Three days ago a Hazara man went into DIAC. He had just heard that his son had been killed by the Taliban. They had captured they boy with four others. Two escaped and two were killed.The boys were told that they knew who the boy was and named his father. The Diac officer told this man he had to go back.

We all know that the REFUGEE DETERMINATION PROCESS has become  a REFUGEE EXCLUSION PROCESS. These guys have not had a fair assessment. They were detained in isolated locations with no access to advice. The IAAAS lawyers they are given by rote. They have no choice - they can be lucky and get the good lawyers or unlucky and get the others. They can get an interpreter who they do not understand and do nothing about it. The process is deeply flawed. To fail means that you are unlucky not that you are not a refugee. It is so flawed that it has now been changed but not for those who went into the system before the 24th March 2012. Is it about as fair as the lottery which sent Australian conscripts to Vietnam. Lambs to the slaughter.

What we can do is to remind those unlucky ones not to give up. Remind them that they cannot be sent home no matter what DIAC are instructed to say by the brute politics. Remind them also that the fight is not over.

Howard tried this on last time and in the end many of those who rotted in detention for 5, 6 and 7 years were granted visas and are now Australian citizens.

  It is not much but lives may depend on it.


Pamela Curr, 5th May 2012

Campaign Coordinator

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

12 Batman st West Melbourne 3003

ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075