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Catholic lobbyist says asylum seekers unfairly blames for detention centre outbreaks

The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has said that recent outbreaks of asylum seekers from detention centres point to the need for an "immediate restructure" of the entire detention regime.

PolMin says the restructure should involve a distinction being made between asylum seekers, stateless persons, and deportees.

"For too long the public impression has been allowed to exist that those escaping from detention centres have been asylum seekers thereby creating in the public's mind a negative image of asylum seekers as desperate persons willing to inflict damage on persons in their pursuit of freedom.

"This is a myth," said spokesman James McGillicuddy. "Those escaping from detention are those either found not to be asylum seekers and those who have breached their visa conditions.

"It is these persons, and not asylum seekers, who have everything to gain from escaping. And it is as a result of these persons that the detention centers require fortification.

"For the sake of justice this myth needs to be addressed immediately. PolMin calls on Federal Parliament to restructure the present detention regime by segregating out asylum seekers, Stateless persons, and deportees."


Catholic lobbyists blame flawed law for absconding asylum seekers (16/12/02)
Three Villawood escapees recaptured (The Age 14/2/03)
Woomera escapees all captured (The Age 5/2/03)
Centacare Adelaide tells why asylum seeker committed suicide (10/2/03)

19 Feb 2003