Is Australia lightening up?

You’d think so, looking at these shiny new protection visas for Chinese political refugees. Good news.

Update: The more I read about Australia’s immigration department, the more depraved it apears to be.

A damning report, released late on Friday night by the Immigration Department, found that five detainees were denied food, water, medical treatment and toilet stops for six-and-a-half hours on the Melbourne-Mildura leg of the journey.

The independent report found the detainees were humiliated and treated in an “inhumane and undignified manner”…

“I wanted to call a lawyer. He said, ‘No, take your stuff now’,” the asylum seeker said. He said the five detainees were pushed into the van by guards working for detention centre operator Global Solutions Limited. One detainee, who struggled, broke a bone while being forced into the van, the asylum seeker said.

He said the van, which was divided into compartments, was dark. The space he was put in was so small he couldn’t move. “The guards said, ‘If you die inside no one will know’,” the man said. “I can’t see anything. For eight hours there was no toilet, I had to go in the van, same as dog.”

The Discussion: 8 Comments

I want one too. My visa is about to expire. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

August 1, 2005 @ 1:58 pm | Comment

Bing, are you a political refugee? I had no idea!

August 1, 2005 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

Join the FLG.

August 1, 2005 @ 3:34 pm | Comment

Join the FLG.

Just like some illegal immigrants from China did.

August 1, 2005 @ 7:41 pm | Comment

Izual, based on this and your earlier comment I’d say you have a chip on your shoulder.

August 1, 2005 @ 7:42 pm | Comment

If the FLG doesn’t suit, here are some alternatives:

1) Log onto a Chinese website or set up a blog using your real name. Post some articles critical of the CCP (or write satirical poetry, if you have a flair for it)

2) Dish the dirt on a leading official in your home town

3) Find some unpublished government statistics (eg deaths due to bird flu) and publish them, thereby making you guilty of “divulging state secrets”

4) Set up a political party (if this is too much trouble, simply get some friends together and hold a few meetings. Discuss how a theoretical multi-party democracy might work in China).

5) Become an activist. Advocate greater autonomy for Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia or all three.

6) Give out the names of any people at the Chinese embassy who may have attempted to “recruit” you, and what your mission was to be (if this has not actually happened, make it up)

7) Join an underground church

8) Advocate independence for Taiwan.

August 1, 2005 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

No matter what you do, just make sure that you don’t end up in a refugee detention centre. With Mandy Vanston in charge, I guarantee you that it’d be like hell.

August 2, 2005 @ 2:07 am | Comment

Australia is a big empty country and has a long held fear of the “yellow hordes” from the north. Its current immigration policy is the handiwork of a grey politician called Philip Ruddock, who is now the attorney general. It plays up to the worst aspects of small minded Australian xenophobia. It is based on an extremely expensive system of detention camps for illegal immigrants run by a private company, and which are quite unacocuntable.

At a time when Australia could be setting a good example for fairness and humanism, it instead likes to scapegoat illegal immigrants and cast them [and their children] into the immigration gulags.

August 2, 2005 @ 6:18 pm | Comment

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