UN human rights council lists Australia with China, Libya over immigration detention

September 17, 2018

A United Nations body has condemned Australia’s arbitrary detention of three illegal maritime arrivals, one of whom has remained in detention for nearly nine years.

It is this kind of hypocritical grandstanding that the Conservative Party says is reason enough for Australia to leave the international body. In this instance, the UN has listed Australia alongside China, Libya, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Burundi and the Congo as breaching UN principles on detention.

The Guardian reports, the UN working group on arbitrary detention – which reports to the human rights council, on which Australia sits – is concerned by “the rising prevalence of deprivation of liberty of immigrants and asylum seekers” worldwide and “the growing use of detention in the context of migration”. Yet the global immigration caseload is larger than it has ever been before.

Three cases of arbitrary detention in Australia were highlighted. In each case, Australia did not respond to the working group’s concerns, and ignored recommendations to release the men and compensate them for their detention.

Said Imasi, understood to be from Western Sahara, has remained in immigration detention centres all over Australia for nearly nine years and is currently on Christmas Island pending his appeal to the High Court.

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