Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has appealed to PM Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to show compassion to the hundreds of asylum seekers who may now be sent to Nauru, following today’s High Court decision to throw out the challenge to Australia‘s offshore detention policies.
This number includes 37 babies born in Australia, plus a five-year-old boy who was allegedly raped while in detention.
“Sending these children to Nauru would be child abuse and Malcolm Turnbull needs to decide whether he is willing to authorise that,” she said in a statement today.
“The evidence is clear and it’s undeniable that Nauru is unsafe for women and children and sending them back would be torture.
“Keeping families on Nauru is untenable and we need to find a better way to protect people who are seeking asylum.
“We must create a fair and efficient system that will bring people here safely and integrate them into the community, so that their families can flourish.
“This is the first major test for the Prime Minister. Will he keep these children safe, when they can thrive and prosper, or will he dump them back on the prison island of Nauru?
“The Immigration Minister has made his position clear. He wants to send these children back to the Hell of Nauru as quickly as possible. For the families and young children who have been caught up in this mess, I hope that doesn’t happen.”
Greens MP Scott Ludlum said much the same on Twitter:
— Scott Ludlam (@SenatorLudlam) February 3, 2016
Hanson-Young and Greens leader Richard Di Natale are set to address media later today.