Dutton Blames The Media For “Holding False Hope” To Self-Harming Refugees

Here is a shortlist of the ways the Australian media holds influence over our nation’s asylum seekers and our detention policies:

  • It serves as a foundation for news, discussion and debate by informing – within the confines of the law – the public about what exactly goes down on Manus Island, Nauru and the like;
  • It brings attention to all the ways our government may or may not be succeeding in its policy goals, and asks questions of those with real control over them;
  • It collects top-notch lels by way of Peter Dutton photoshop jobs to contrast the horrors Australia might just be culpable for. 
Notably absent on this list is “inadvertently encouraging detainees to set themselves on fire in the hopes the notoriously stubborn Department of Immigration will change its ways.”

Yet, that’s exactly what Dutton implied today when he said “there are some media outlets in this country who need to reassess their approach” to the issue. 

He said “like advocates, holding false hope out to people that somehow, through different resistance methods, that they’re going to come to Australia, they are wrong and they are frankly, I think, prolonging the difficulty of these people.”

“They may think that they’re smart and well intentioned, but they’re not.”
The comments come in response to a spate of refugees who have set themselves on fucking fire in response to the desperation they experienced in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

Before Iranian refugee Omid Massoumaldied, he cried out “this is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.” That, quite unambiguously, is a cry for help, before it was ever a calculated political play spurred by a complicit media. 

Of course, these comments come days after Dutton placed some of the blame at the feet of refugee advocates, when he said “they can provide offers of support, that is reasonable. But to provide advice otherwise is very dangerous.”

In this horrible blame-game, it seems the only relevant party not criticised by Dutton has been his own. The one that’s actually in charge. 

Source: ABC. 
Photo: Stefan Postles / Getty.