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Statement in response to the Human Rights Watch report, "by invitation only"



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JULIA GILLARD M.P.

MEDIA RELEASE

Shadow Minister for Population & Immigration

STATEMENT BY JULIA GILLARD SHADOW MINISTER FOR POPULATION & IMMIGRATION IN RESPONSE TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT, “BY INVITATION ONLY”

Human Rights Watch, the New York-based international monitoring agency, released a report today in Sydney based on interviews with people who were on boats turned away by the Royal Australian Navy.

The Report contains some serious allegations. These allegations were also raised at a recent Senate Inquiry, but that inquiry could not collect testimony from the asylum seekers involved.

Responding to the report, Julia Gillard, the Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration, stated that Labor has consistently maintained that Australians are entitled to the truth about all aspects of the Howard Government’s ‘Pacific Solution’ and all matters relating to its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

Labor has consistently maintained that there is no need to lie to protect our borders and that Australians were entitled to the full truth about the ‘Children Overboard’ conspiracy, the full details of the costs and impacts of the ‘Pacific Solution’, the full story of SIEV X, and full details of the disruption activities undertaken in Indonesia.

Labor has led the way in seeking to drag the truth from a reluctant Government. Today, Labor has continued its campaign to hold the Government to account by successfully moving a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to institute an independent judicial inquiry into the Government’s people-smuggling disruption program, including the circumstances of the loss of SIEV X.

Such a judicial inquiry would be the appropriate place to deal with the allegations made in the Human Rights Watch report.

Tuesday, 10 December 2002

For further information contact: Julia Gillard, MP on (02) 6277 4349 or 0417 361 637