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Alexandr Babiy



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA, A C T. 2600 TEL. 72 1211

JOINT STATEMENT BY_rMR JOHN SPENDER QC MP, SHADOW MINISTER} (FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRSJAND MR ALAN CADMAN, SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS.

The Federal Opposition welcomes the news that the Soviet Biochemist, Dr Alexandr Babiy, has been granted asylum in Australia under the provisions of the Special Humanitarium Programme.

But it must always be remembered that Australia let Dr Babiy in: The Soviets did not let him go.

To have forced the return of Dr Babiy to the Soviet Union would have been a moral catastrophe.

The Opposition does not believe that any credit should be given to the Soviet government for their so called co-operation. Dr Babiy was trying to escape from a totalitarian regime which has an appalling record on human rights.

It was not as if Dr Babiy was in Soviet Union. He was in a democracy seeking asylum from the government of his own country. No doubt, had the Soviet government suspected beforehand that Dr Babiy had intended to defect he would never have been allowed to leave the Soviet Union.

Sydney 21 January 1988

ALEXANDR BABIY