Friday, December 17, 2010

Amnesty International Australia’s response to Wednesday 15 December’s tragic asylum seeker boat crash on Christmas Island

Following reports that a boat carrying asylum seekers crashed off Christmas Island in the early hours of Wednesday 15 December, Andrew Beswick, Campaigns Director for Amnesty International Australia, released this statement: “This tragic incident is a reminder of the very real risks that asylum seekers take in their search for safety. The decision to get on a boat to seek asylum is never taken lightly, and it should be remembered that asylum seekers who come to Australia are human beings asking for our help.” “In the vast majority of cases, asylum seekers who come to Australia by boat are found to be genuine refugees fleeing violence and persecution. Today’s events are a distressing reminder of the heavy price that these people sometimes pay in their search for protection.” “While the exact details of this incident are still emerging, it is a reminder of the fact that human beings are at the heart of the debate around asylum seekers.” “Nobody wants to see asylum seekers risking their lives by undertaking dangerous boat journeys in search of safety. However, in reality, the only way of preventing asylum seekers from attempting such journeys is to provide them with viable alternatives. This includes increasing the capacity and willingness of countries across the Asia Pacific to protect refugees.”

Amnesty International Australia also made statements concerning the tragedy in the following media:

Sunrise, Channel 7, 16 Dec 2010, ‘Risking it all for a better life’:

SMH, AFP, 15 Dec 2010, ‘At least 27 dead in Australia boat tragedy’:

The Age, AAP, 15 Dec 2010, ‘At least 27 die in Xmas Island boat crash’:

The Australian, 16 Dec 2010, ‘Refugee policy blamed for wreck’:

If your action group is interested in organising an action in response to this event, such as a candlelight vigil or other awareness raising activity, please contact NSW Community Campaigner, Ruby Johnson:

No comments:

Post a Comment