UN wants re­view of ‘gag’ law

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Aus­tralia’s gov­ern­ment has be­come in­creas­ingly se­cre­tive through a range of new laws, in­clud­ing a gag on of­fi­cials speak­ing out about con­di­tions at an Aus­tralia-run im­mi­gra­tion camp in Nauru, a United Na­tions hu­man rights in­ves­ti­ga­tor said yes­ter­day. Michel Forst, the UN’s Special Rap­por­teur on hu­man rights de­fend­ers, rec­om­mended that Aus­tralia re­view its se­crecy laws, in­clud­ing the “sti­fling” Bor­der Force Act, to re­move pro­vi­sions that con­tra­vene hu­man rights prin­ci­ples. The At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s Depart­ment said Forst did not present a bal­anced view, but that the gov­ern­ment would con­sider his rec­om­men­da­tions. Australian doc­tors have ini­ti­ated a court chal­lenge to the Bor­der Force Act, which they ar­gue gags them from speak­ing pub­licly about child abuse and other threats to asy­lum seek­ers and refugees held in the Pa­cific atoll na­tion of Nauru. The law was in­tro­duced last year as part of a widely crit­i­cised pol­icy of send­ing all asy­lum seek­ers who at­tempt to reach Aus­tralia by boat to Nauru or to the South Pa­cific na­tion of Pa­pua New Guinea. The Australian mil­i­tary-run Op­er­a­tion Sov­er­eign Bor­ders, which ran­kles In­done­sia and hu­man rights ad­vo­cates be­cause it in­volves turn­ing back boats and re­ject­ing refugee ap­pli­ca­tions at sea, is shrouded in se­crecy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.