Tamil Asylum Seekers Left Without Clothes Claims NFP
29 July 2014 at 5:11 pm
It’s been claimed that the 157 Tamil asylum seekers held at sea on the Oceanic Protector for almost a month have been left in WA’s Curtin Detention Centre with only the clothes they are wearing.
The community activist organisation, the Refugee Action Coalition says many of the asylum seekers are still in the same clothes they were wearing when they were picked up at sea at the end of June.
“To make matters worse, the weather has been quite cold at Curtin in the past few days,” spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said.
“Asylum seekers already in the Curtin Detention Centre have taken up a collection of any spare clothes they have (which is not much) to try help out the new arrivals."
The Refugee Action Coalition said had been told from inside the Curtin Detention Centre that children in particular needed extra clothes.
“There are a large number of children under three, and there are no specific facilities to look after them,” Rintoul said.
“It has become clear that the Government’s decision to bring the Tamils to the mainland was particularly hasty. Serco is largely unprepared to properly accommodate the new arrivals.
“There is no excuse for not having enough clothes for the asylum seekers. The Government must get the clothes needed to Curtin immediately. They could send a car to Broome in a couple of hours. There are no recreational facilities in place – not even a TV.
“Nor have the new arrivals have even been allowed to make calls to families and loved ones to tell them they are safe. It is also clear that Indian government authorities will play no role in the assessment of any of the asylum seekers.
“Scott Morrison should come clean. The so-called deal with India was always a smoke-screen to cover the government’s backdown. The Government was desperate to avoid the High Court assessing the legality of its actions,” Rintoul said.
“These asylum seekers will be processed by Australia, in Australia. There is no indication that there was even one Indian national on board the asylum boat.
“The asylum seekers should be given access to phones so they can call their families. They should also be given access to legal advice so that their protection applications can be made without delay.”