Australia violated refugees’ human rights, UN says

By Michael Gordon

Australia has been found guilty of almost 150 violations of international law over the indefinite detention of 46 refugees in one of the most damning assessments of human rights in this country by a United Nations committee.

The federal government has been ordered to release the refugees, who have been in detention for more than four years, “under individually appropriate conditions” and to provide them with rehabilitation and compensation.

Consistent with Australia’s treaty obligations, the government has been given 180 days to assure the committee that it has acted on the recommendations and taken steps to prevent “similar violations in future”.

The UN’s Human Rights Committee concluded that the continued detention of the refugees, most of them Sri Lankan Tamils, is “cumulatively inflicting serious psychological harm” and in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/australia-violated-refugees-human-rights-un-says-20130822-2sdxq.html#ixzz2czBXeB00

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