Government backs down as Minister Dutton announces ‘Baby Asha’ will be moved into the community
21 February 2016
The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has announced that ‘Baby Asha’ will be moved from a Brisbane hospital – where medical staff had been refusing to discharge her – and into community detention.
The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Legal Advocacy, Daniel Webb, said this was a significant change in position.
“A week ago we had to file an urgent case in the highest court in the country to stop the government from secretively deporting this baby to Nauru. Now the family is being released into the community. It’s a massive turn-around,” said Mr Webb.
“The medical team at the Lady Cilento hospital and the thousands of decent Australians who have shown their support for Baby Asha have reminded us what strong moral leadership looks like and what it can achieve,” said Mr Webb.
Mr Webb said the government should now commit to allowing the family to rebuild their lives in Australia with certainty.
“Baby Asha spoke her first words in a detention camp on Nauru. She took her first steps in a detention camp on Nauru. It’s well and truly time for our government to realise that this child deserves what every child in the world deserves – a chance at a decent life somewhere safe,” said Mr Webb.
Mr Webb said the remaining 267 people at risk of imminent deportation to Nauru or Manus should be allowed to stay.
“The politics may be complex but the morality is simple. Detention is no place for innocent, vulnerable people – neither is a tent on a tiny island. It would be fundamentally wrong to condemn these 267 people to lives in limbo on Nauru or Manus. The Government should do the decent thing and let them stay,” said Mr Webb.
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