17 July 2014
The HRLC has taken a range of urgent steps to prevent Sri Lankan asylum seekers being handed over to the very regime they claim to be fleeing.
Earlier this week HRLC lawyers assisting the legal team conducted phone interviews with a number of the asylum seekers being detained on an Australian vessel in a secret location somewhere at sea. Due to the terms and conditions agreed to in order to get access to these asylum seekers, the HRLC is not permitted to disclose the content of the interviews at this stage, but the information will be used in the ongoing High Court case.
The HRLC also sent a request for urgent action to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, an important accountability mechanism within the UN system.
It’s a violation of Sri Lanka’s migration law to leave the country unofficially. Most of the asylum seekers Australia is returning to Sri Lanka’s navy will be charged – or worse, writes the HRLC’s Emily Howie.
The HRLC last night sent a request for urgent action to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The request relates to two groups of Sri Lankan asylum seekers, including at least 37 children, who were reportedly travelling to Australia to claim protection but have not been heard from for four days after reportedly being intercepted by Australian authorities.
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