20 Feb 2014

Leading Australian paper wants asylum seeker re-think by Canberra

3:13 pm on 20 February 2014

One of Australia's largest newspapers has published an editorial calling for an end the country's policy of sending asylum seekers to detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

The Melbourne newspaper, The Age, says the Australian government has failed in its duty to ensure the safety of asylum seekers after one man died and over 70 were injured in two nights of unrest on PNG's Manus Island this week.

The newspaper says Australia has become a nation that acquiesces to the cruel and inhumane treatment of people who seek freedom from persecution and that the government cannot trade its responsibilites in a cynical shuffle of humans.

The editorial calls for an independent inquiry to be held into the riots on Sunday and Monday, calling a review by Australia's Department of Immigration wholly insufficient.

It also says Australians must be told what, if anything, is happening in relation to processing of the refugee applications made by the asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.