4 Sep 2006

Australian Senator says sending Burmese to Nauru is cruel political game playing

7:56 pm on 4 September 2006

An Australian greens Senator, Kerry Nettle, says the immigration minister, Amanda Vanstone, should use her ministerial power to ensure that 8 Burmese seeking asylum have their claims assessed in Australia, rather than Nauru.

Senator Nettle says the minister intends sending the group, which is from the persecuted Rohingya minority, to Nauru.

She says the minister knows this ethnic minority face terrible persecution

in Burma, including being denied citizenship, forced into slave labour,

beaten and imprisoned.

Senator Nettle says there is a strong likelihood that they will be found to be genuine refugees and it is in the public interest for them to be brought to the Australian mainland to have their claims fairly assessed.

She says to insist on the application of the Pacific Solution policy of

sending these asylum seekers to Nauru is cruel political game playing.