Australian HC issues interim injunction against deportation of 153 Tamil refugees

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 July 2014, 10:58 GMT]
Following an urgent hearing of an application from refugee advocates in Australia, the High Court in Austrlia has refused to allow the Australian Government to hand over the 153 Eezham Tamil refugees to Sri Lankan authorities, delivering an interim injunction until Tuesday afternoon, news reports from Australia said Monday. The latest development comes following a controversial move by the Australian authorities that handed over 41 asylum seekers back to the Sri Lankan military after the so-called processing of their asylum applications at the sea.

Lawyer George Newhouse, representing 48 refugees of the boat has told Guardian Australia that Justice Crennan has granted an injunction until 4pm Tuesday.

The 153 Eezham Tamil refugees, who had set off from the coast of Tamil Nadu, have been detained on board a Customs ship after their boat was intercepted off Christmas Island a few days ago.

Several persons among the 153 asylum seekers had fled the island after being subjected to torture and repeated threat at the hands of the occupying Sri Lankan military.

The interim injunction will be in place until the High Court will be hearing the case, news reports from Australia further said.

In the meantime, 53 law scholars from 17 Australian universities have demanded a legal explanation from the Austrlian Government on the controversial move of detention and handing over asylum seekers at mid-sea.

“Holding asylum seekers on boats in this manner also amounts to incommunicado detention without judicial scrutiny,“ they said in a statement.

The move willl breach Australia's obligations under international refugee and human rights law, including the 1951 Refugees Convention, 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, they further said.

In the meantime, Tamil rights activists in the island alleged that the Sri Lankan military intelligence was behind the boat with 41 ‘asylum seekers’. Strangely, 37 of them were Sinhalese and all of them were men. The move was intended to give an opening to the Australian military to deport the asylum seekers at mid sea, the Tamil activists said alleging a ‘military-to-military’ relationship between the Australian and the Sri Lankan military.

Australia's Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has issued a statement on the handover over 41 people to the Sri Lankan military. In the statement he said: “Just one of the 41 people on board was assessed as possibly having a case for asylum, and was given the option of being transferred to Australia's detention camps in the South Pacific island nations of Nauru or Papua New Guinea for further processing.” The asylum seeker opted instead to return to Sri Lanka, Morrison further said in his statement.


External Links:
Radio Australia: High Court injunction blocks handover of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka


Latest 15 Reports
15.12.18 13:16  
Sinhala officials intimidate Tamil, Muslim land-owners at Kuchchave'li in Trincomalee
14.12.18 22:09  
SL military threatens to re-introduce discriminatory pass system in Batticaloa North
13.12.18 22:42  
Ex-Land Commissioner observes systematic ethnic discrimination in issuing land documents in East
12.12.18 21:45   Photo
SL military erects giant Buddha statue at controversial heritage site in Mullaiththeevu
11.12.18 22:31  
SL military wants Cooray to liaise with Tamil diaspora industrialists from islets off Jaffna
10.12.18 23:08   Photo
HR Day protests in North-East met with violence, SL Police displays hostility
09.12.18 23:16   Photo
Monks incite SL paramilitary to Sinhalicise Tamil heritage site in Trincomalee North
08.12.18 22:19   Photo
Occupying Colombo reintroduces war-time harassments in North-East
07.12.18 19:26   Photo
Washington set to downgrade ‘human rights politics’ to association level in Indo-Pacific
06.12.18 23:31   Photo
Skeletal remains with shackled legs exhumed in Mannaar mass grave
05.12.18 23:16  
Colombo withdrew Wigneswaran's security after his Remembrance Day statement
04.12.18 23:21   Photo
USA wants India and Japan to look after smaller states in IOR, Modi says ‘Jai’
03.12.18 19:03  
SL State becomes prime reference for ‘debt trap diplomacy’ of China in US rhetorics
02.12.18 14:45   Photo
USA, China agree on 90-day ceasefire on trade war, India to reaffirm US defence ties
01.12.18 14:17  
Occupying Colombo intentionally targets ex-LTTE members for murder of SL policemen
Find this article at: