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Democrats call on Labor to review their approach to mandatory detention.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Australian Democrats Immigration spokesperson

August 14, 2001 MEDIA RELEASE 01/471


The Australian Democrats have called on the Labor Party to reconsider their support for mandatory detention following the screening of ABC’s Four Corners episode last night.

Democrats' Immigration spokesperson, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said it was clear that the act of imprisoning families and individuals indefinitely was causing immense and unnecessary trauma.

“Despite Labor’s justified criticism of Minister Ruddock’s handling of the issue, the fact remains that the ALP also continues to support mandatory detention, despite the clear link between that policy and the immense trauma it is causing,” Senator Bartlett said.

“My office has had many calls and emails from members of the public following last night’s Four Corners who are very distressed at the reality of life in our detention centres.”

“The Democrats have called for many years for the scrapping of Australia’s mandatory detention policy, which is among the harshest in the world.”

“It is unnecessary, inhumane, unjustified and expensive.”

“However, it will continue until there are sufficient numbers in the Parliament for legislative change.”

“To help end the trauma suffered by detainees, the ALP must end their support for mandatory detention. Otherwise, any criticism of Minister Ruddock must be equally directed at the ALP.

For further comment, contact: Andrew Bartlett on 0418 743 789