[Editor’s Note: Why do Australians go as tourists to countries (like Vietnam) that experience such poverty and social turmoil?
What benefit does it do impoverished Vietnamese people to watch wealthy western tourists traipse around their country slinging a few dollars here and there?
Is this kind of tourism just a middle-class, voyeurist holiday funded by the $A exchange rate?]
There is mounting fear in the Darwin Detention camps as Vietnamese asylum seekers hear that they are to be deported in coming days.
These people have recently been visited by Vietnamese police Officers. The asylum seekers say that these are a special branch of the Vietnamese police and that they are feared. People in detention were herded in groups into rooms in the camps and then locked in until the Vietnamese police were shown in by immigration officials. Some people were accused of treason by the police because they had left Vietnam without permission.
There are grave concerns for their safety if forcibly returned to Vietnam. All will be imprisoned and some may suffer worse consequences. These people have solid refugee claims which have not been tested. They are being automatically screened out by Immigration officers after short screen out interviews.
Information has emerged from the Vietnamese asylum seekers that two families were sent back last week secretly. They were deported after being held in an unknown location in Darwin near the NIDC. It is unknown as yet what their fate on arrival has been.
Stories and histories from the asylum seekers are very concerning and demonstrate that they have Refugee Convention claims which if tested could not be refused however under this fast track enhanced screening process introduced for both Tamil and Vietnamese asylum seekers, they do not get a chance to present their claims or evidence. This coincides with the special agreements developed between Australia and the Sri Lankan and Vietnamese Governments whereby the Australian Government can fast track returns.
— Pamela Curr Campaign Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 12 Batman st West Melbourne 3003 ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075 “AUSTRALIA. Built by boatpeople.