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Wednesday, 16 December 1992
Page: 5258

(Question No. 2428)


Senator O'Chee asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 11 November 1992:

  With reference to the seven Chinese citizens returned to China on 23 October 1992:

  (1) Were any of the individuals detained upon their arrival in China.

  (2) Are any of these individuals presently detained or expected to face trial.

  (3) On what basis has the Government made its assessment of their fate.


Senator Tate —The Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The Government has no confirmation of the detention of any of the seven Chinese citizens returned to China on 23 October 1992. It would not, however, be unusual for them to have been detained by authorities for a short period in order to confirm identities and seek information on the circumstances of their departure.

  (2) The Government is not aware that any of these individuals are currently detained or awaiting trial.

  (3) Assurances were received from the Chinese authorities that these people will not be punished as a result of their illegal departure from China. The Chinese authorities have emphasised that these people are of no interest to them and they will not face punishment for their illegal departure.