dumps sick child on remote island
Is it possible that DIMIA will never learn?
By Frank Marrinan
Possum News Network
4 June 2006
Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstones troops have whipped a sick,
nine-year old child out of a Brisbane hospital and dumped the her and
her Afghani asylum-seeker parents on Horne Island, a rocky speck a couple
of hours fast boat-run from Cape York.
News of the event is circulating urgently on the refugee advocates
network headed DIMIA holding family in hiding grave concerns
for sick child.
The family made landfall on Saibai Island off the North Queensland coast
around 26 May, seeking refuge and urgent medial treatment for the child.
They had apparently travelled from West Papua.
Their arrival went virtually unreported, but when Amnesty International
and a member of Queenslands Afghan community went to visit the
family at Brisbanes Royal Childrens Hospital where the child
had been prepared for an operation, they were blocked by guards.
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs staff
then turned up and removed the family more than a thousand kilometres
north to Horne Island originally an undisclosed destination
because, said Dimia, the family did not want to see Amnesty or the Red
A likely story Asylum-seeker advocates said. Pamela Curr,
campaign coordinator at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) put
it this way: DIMIA's claims are not believable. To expect advocates
to believe that a refugee family would refuse support from human rights
groups is not credible especially from a department with the track record
Its understood the reason the family embarked on the dangerous
sea voyage was to get medical treatment for their child.
So where are they now? They were last known to be on Horne Island where
they were being held with three West Papuans who were also picked up
en route to Australia and refugee advocates fear all will be shipped
out on a 4.00 am Alliance Airlines chartered flight to Nauru.
Horne Island is a novel listing in Australias excluded offshore
islands. Unless its been built up and tourist-ised
in the last decade or so, about all it has to offer is a navigation
light, associated equipment and a few temporary fishermens shacks.
What is happening to this family is the result of the legislation
which makes it possible for the government to refuse legal advice or
representation to persons who arrive on Australian islands which have
been excised, says Pamela Curr. While these people may be
designated by DIMIA to be Offshore Entry Persons and as
such have no rights, we remind DIMIA that they are still human beings.
Refugee advocates are calling on supporters to ring the Ministers
office demanding nicely, they stress that the family have
access to support and care for the sick child. Another useful action
would be to call a talkback radio program and let Australians what is
but it might be best to avoid The Parrot.