The Saturday Paper

Park Hotel’s political victims

- Letters@thesaturda­

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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