24 Oct 2014

ICC asked to probe Australia's asylum policy

2:43 pm on 24 October 2014

An Australian politician has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the Australian Government's treatment of asylum seekers, citing crimes against humanity.

In a letter to the ICC, independent MP Andrew Wilkie, says Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his 19 cabinet members are violating international law.

Mr Wilkie says people seeking Australia's protection are being forcibly relocated and subjected to arbitrary imprisonment on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island and Nauru.

He alleges the conditions that Australia's asylum seekers are forced to endure in detention are causing great suffering, both physically and mentally.

Mr Wilkie says Australia is in breach of the international conventions on refugees and the rights of the child and the international covenant on civil and political rights.

His letter comes as Australia makes moves to transfer refugees from Nauru to Cambodia after signing a resettlement agreement.

Cambodian officials are expected to travel to Nauru this month to tell refugees what life would be like in Cambodia.

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Photo: AAP