|COMMISSION CONDEMNS MINISTER'S 'BIZARRE' REACTION TO CHURCH SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES|
Adelaide's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has criticised the "bizarre logic" underlying the Federal Immigration Minister's blaming church and welfare agencies for this week's violence at South Australia's Woomera Detention Centre.|
The Commission's Executive Officer Chris Keating said the Federal Government cannot avoid taking some responsibility for the extreme situation, and that it was 'bizarre' of Federal Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock to somehow hold church and welfare agencies responsible for the Woomera riots when these groups were simply attempting to defend basic human rights.
Mr Keating called on the Federal Government to fully implement minimum international standards for the treatment of such detainees.
"Instead of attacking those very agencies who are endeavouring to meet the needs of recently arrived refugees and asylum seekers, he should start by adhering to the guidelines outlined in March by Australia's very own Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
"We understand that Minister Ruddock has a difficult job, but it is unfortunate of him to focus his frustration on the church and community groups who are doing the best they can for refugees with meagre resources. His attempt to hold church and community groups somehow responsible for what has happened at Woomera is nothing short of bizarre logic.
|31 Aug 00|