The Saturday Paper
Park Hotel’s political victims
Your editorial (“Political prisoners”,
April 9-15) captures the callous cynicism of Scott Morrison’s handling of asylum seekers. His “stop the boats” policy operated in direct, open contravention of the Refugee Convention, to which Australia has been a signatory since the 1950s. Far from being any “moral vanity”, this has been ruthless populism masquerading as a xenophobic crusade to win easy votes. The claim to be saving lives by preventing drowning, while failing to offer any safer alternative, was simply hypocrisy. Morrison’s approach has shown a complete absence of compassion or of understanding that Australia, as a signatory to the Refugee Convention, must protect and support those seeking asylum from war and persecution. Releasing the Park Hotel detainees on bridging visas now does not provide them with asylum. It is a political fix before the election: these detainees remain in legal limbo and wholly subject to the whims of the Immigration minister.
– Chris Young, Surrey Hills, Vic
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