PM Kevin Rudd backtracks on mainland processing of boatpeople
Mark Dodd; 17/3/10; (2 Items)
Asylum-seekers whose claims have not been finalised will be moved to the mainland, overturning the government’s policy of insisting almost all claims be dealt with on Christmas Island. The Australian understands asylum-seekers in the final stages of processing for refugee status could soon be moved from the island detention centre to Darwin for eventual resettlement. There are now 1997 asylum-seekers on Christmas Island, leaving room for only 65 new arrivals. But the government has ruled out any “imminent plans to transfer hundreds of asylum-seekers to Darwin”.
‘We gambled our lives on trip’, asylum-seekers tell court
Debbie Guest; 17/4/10
Asylum-seekers have described how they gambled everything — including their lives — during a perilous, two-day voyage in which they battled sickness and rough seas while aboard a small wooden fishing boat skippered by an accused Indonesian people-smuggler. Giving evidence at the trial of Hasanusi, the now-permanent Australian residents said their frightening journey began in darkness on the south coast of Indonesia and ended just before dawn on Christmas Island about 48 hours later. “All of us were afraid because it is the first time we were at sea,” Kuwaiti man Marzoog Soltan told Perth’s District Court yesterday. “Most of the passengers were sick and sleeping.”